Day 2 of the NFL Combine is a big day for Chicago Bears fans. Chicago has the obvious need for new wide receivers, and odds are we will select at least one in this draft. There is value all over the draft where we can pick a wide receiver. Fans should be watching the quarterbacks and tight ends also, because we may draft someone at one of those positions in the later rounds.
Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver; Alabama
Looking at the best wide receivers in this draft, Calvin Ridley is the one on top of most analysts’ boards. It makes sense, as he has been the best wide receiver in college football, and got a lot of attention for being on the top team in the NCAA at Alabama.
Ridley has shown a great ability to make very smooth cuts and find a way to get open. He is a very elusive runner that makes very silky moves to get around defenders. Next, he does a great job of dropping his hips when cutting quickly. Ridley also had to deal with below average quarterback play with Jalen Hurts, as he made Hurts look a lot better even with Hurts missing Ridley quite a bit during the year.
I predicting that Ridley will not be at the top of most events, but he will be in the upper half. He will do well in drills later on with the quarterbacks though.
My biggest concern about Ridley is that spending the eighth pick on a slot receiver that will be 24 years old is not really worth it. I think that he could end up being a great player, but he seems more like a mid-to-late first round pick.
Still, he is overall the top receiver, and with the Bears horrible wide receiver play last season, Ryan Pace needs to watch every wide receiver, especially the top guy. Who knows, he could blow us away at the combine and bring himself back into top ten considerations, we will see.
Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU
If you are looking for a big body wide receiver to go up and get it for you, then Courtland Sutton is your guy. He was measured up at 6’3″ 3/8 and weighs 218 pounds. So he has the size, but he also shows some great speed. He’s not a burner, but he can beat the defender to put himself in a better position to make the big play. He also is a smart player and understands what defensive backs are thinking, because he was one when he first went to SMU. There are not to many big guys like him that make transitions like that.
I could see Sutton doing very well in the combine for a bigger player. While he can’t show off his jump ball abilities, he can demonstrate his leaping ability in the vertical jump, which he will utilize in the NFL.
Sutton reminds me a bit of Dez Bryant but with a better attitude. They both have a great combination of size, speed, and display great jump ball skills. I would love to see Mitch Trubisky with his very own Dez Bryant, and I would be ecstatic about picking him in the second round if he is available.
Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Memphis
Anthony Miller is another player that teams have all over their board, and I too am very high on him. He showed that he is a great athlete that will make plays for your team. Now, I know you can say that about a lot of draft prospects, but Miller has shown some terrific technique to make himself a better wide receiver. He was a walk-on at Memphis, and worked his tail off to become a great player. Miller uses many moves that not many receivers can make to get open.
In all likelihood, Miller will perform really well at the combine. He already killed it at the measurements, as he showed off his ten inch hands to the world. For a 5’11” wide receiver having some of the biggest hands out of all the WRs, it is shocking. His 40 time should be good as well, but when he is doing drills and cuts I think people are going to be surprised with how good he is.
He is another guy that many don’t really know where he is getting picked. He is not a very big receiver, and that will hurt his value. I have seen him sneaking into the first and have seen him in the 4th. I am on the higher end and see him as a second-rounder.
Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver, Colorado State
I know I have talked about a lot of wide receivers, but I have to have one more for my guy Michael Gallup. I watched him play when Colorado State played Alabama, and have been following him ever since. He is a an all-around solid player who could fit into many teams.
At 6’0″ 6/8 and weighing 205, he comes in at a solid playing weight. Gallup will be able to do a lot for your team. He showed at Colorado State that he can be used as both a short yardage guy and also the guy to stretch the field. I really liked the work he did at the Senior Bowl, and believe he is still underrated.
Gallup should fit with the middle of the pack in many of the drills. He is athletic, but right around a lot of other guys. I think he turns it up another notch on game day, but I wouldn’t expect him to blow you away.
Additionally, Gallup has a lot to gain and lose this week. If he does well, he can become a second round pick, but if he performs poorly, he may fall to the middle rounds. He is a fun and physical player that will be entertaining to observe on Saturday.
Kyle Lauletta, Quarterback, Richmond
Before you get the pitchforks, I am not saying we need someone to replace Mitch. We did see though last season that a backup quarterback can be so valuable. Jimmy Garappolo get traded to the 49ers for a second rounder, and Nick Foles won a Super Bowl as the backup quarterback. Getting a young backup quarterback can help us have a guy that we could potentially groom and trade, but also have someone dependable if Mitch ever goes down.
Lauletta may not have great arm strength, but you can’t deny that he shows great accuracy. He convinced me at the Senior Bowl that he has a lot of potential to grow, as he can throw a ball on a dime. With some time as a backup, he will grow mentally enough that he could fill in for us and be just fine.
While Chicago does not have a lot of picks in this draft, the quarterback position is so valuable that picking a guy that you know will be the backup is not a bad idea. I really like what he has put on tape, and he could be a decent mid-to-late round draft selection.
Ryan Izzo, Tight End, Florida State
With the rumors of Dion Sims being let go, it would not be shocking to see a tight end selected in April to back up Adam Shaheen. Ryan Izzo would be the perfect selection for Chicago, as while Shaheen is a big dude, he has not perfected his craft at tight end.
Izzo would come in and play tight end during key running plays when we needed that extra push outside. He’s a very aggressive and strong athlete, and could take the spot for Dion Sims on a much cheaper deal.
Looking to tomorrow, Izzo could do really well at the bench press, but will probably not perform that great in the receiving drills. He is a much better blocker than receiver, and it is hard to show that at the Combine.
I could see the Bears taking Izzo late in the draft. This is a good class for tight ends, so we can wait until the end and still get a quality player. Keep his name in your head going into Saturday.
The Loops Sports will have great coverage of the combine this weekend. We will be posting combine previews and reviews for each day of the combine, so make sure to check back in with us!