Again and again, people (myself included) have broken down the inability of the Chicago Bears organization to consistently draft quality players in the first round.
One of the hardest positions to draft in the first round, other than QB, is wide receiver. This is for a number of reasons.
The first is that learning an NFL offense is much harder than what most college receivers are used to.
The second is that every week in the NFL, there are quality cornerbacks you must face as opposed to in college, where you may face potential NFL corners maybe half the time.
The third, and this is merely my opinion, is that receivers are the biggest prima donnas in the NFL.
Now I understand that to play at that level of football, you have to be 110 percent confident in your abilities.
But it just seems that receivers are more shocked when they reach the NFL level that they cannot survive on their talent alone and they talk more trash that any other position.
To give us a perspective, let's review the receivers who were taken in the first round the since 2004...
(The year they were selected, the pick they were taken with, their name, and the team that drafted them)
2008: Zero wide receivers were taken in the first round... 0.
- #2 – Calvin Johnson (Lions) - A beast. No doubt. At current pace, he is going to be a perennial Pro Bowler... Would also help if he went somewhere other than the Lions though.
- #9 – Ted Ginn Jr. (Dolphins) - Not overly impressive yet, but has shown flashes.
- #23 – Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs) - Also shown ability to be the No. 1 receiver in KC.
- #27 – Robert Meachem (Saints) - Have heard very little to nothing about this man since draft day.
- #30 – Craig Davis (Chargers) - Ditto. When I looked him up, the first line I read was "Oft-injured wide receiver Craig Davis, a disappointment in his two seasons with the San Diego Chargers, will miss the rest of the season with a groin injury." (Cbssports.com)
- #32 – Anthony Gonzalez (Colts) - Has shown some flashes, especially once Marvin Harrison went down last season.
- #25 – Santonio Holmes (Steelers) - Up until this past season had been viewed as nothing more than a deep threat. The playoffs, and especially the Super Bowl, made him a big-time player. Now he has to back it up.
- # 3 – Braylon Edwards (Browns) - Did amazing things the year before last, but didn't seem to show up in 2008.
- #7 – Troy Williamson (Vikings) - Bust.
- # 10 – Mike Williams (Lions) - Bust.
- #21 – Matt Jones (Jags) - Bust(ed) for possession of a controlled substance (his second time)
- # 22 – Mark Clayton (Ravens) - While he has yet to have a 1,000-yard season, he has been a steady enough player for a team that has not had much of a passing game... ever.
- # 27 – Roddy White (Falcons) - Has progressed to be a Pro Bowl quality receiver now that the Falcons have a legit QB.
- # 3 - Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) - Amazing receiver. No question.
- #7 – Roy Williams (Lions) - An idiot. I realize he was unfortunate enough to play with the Lions for the first four years of his career. But the man has dropped passes, never shut up, and rarely backed up his talk with a proven work ethic and team play. This next season with Dallas could be his make-or-break year.
- # 9 – Reggie Williams - Bust. Always thought he had potential but could never seem to get it together in Jacksonville.
- # 13 – Lee Evans - Great deep threat but has had problems with the inconsistency at the QB position in Buffalo. Stats should be very good with TO lined up next to him.
- # 15 – Michael Clayton - Great first year, and then fell off the face of the earth.
- # 29 – Michael Jenkins - Has been helped by Matt Ryan, but hasn't flourished as much as White or as much as some had hoped.
- #31 – Rashaun Woods - Actually had to Google this guy because he busted so hard that the last football stat I have for him is that he was cut by a CFL team.
So what does this all prove? That drafting receivers is like a crap shoot AND with the exception of a few (Fitzgerald and Johnson) those that aren't busts who take a couple years to develop.
The Chicago Bears do not really have a couple more years to try and develop another receiver. The team is getting old (Urlacher, Wale, Kruetz, Garza) and Lovie's job is on the line this year, so I cant imagine him having the patience to try and develop another young guy.
That said, the combination of the "hit-or-miss" receiver selection and the Bears "hit-or-miss" on ALL of their first round selections seems to equal a disaster waiting to happen.
John Tait just retired. Most of the remaining offensive line is getting old. Go with a safer pick. Or at least someone that could help out immediately.
As impressive as DHB and Hakeem Nicks have looked, I am afraid the Bears will just end up wasting yet another pick and four years, waiting for them to hit their potential (for example: David Terrell, pictured above)
You have done absolutely nothing this year in free agency, Jerry... don't blow the draft too. PLEASE!