Even if the Chicago Bears add some wide receiver help via free agency or a trade this offseason, the team will likely turn to the 2018 NFL Draft in search of depth and talent in a position group that desperately needs it.
Luckily, GM Ryan Pace will get a good look at a healthy number of wide receiver prospects at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Indeed, the NFL released the list of 326 participants on Tuesday, and it includes 44 wide receivers.
Among the most notable wideouts to be invited are Senior Bowl standouts D.J. Chark (LSU) and DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State), as well as underclassmen Christian Kirk (Texas A&M), Courtland Sutton (SMU), and Calvin Ridley (Alabama).
Top talents who have also received invitations to the Scouting Combine include guard Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame), running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State), linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech), defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), and cornerback Josh Jackson (Iowa).
Quarterbacks Josh Allen (Wyoming), Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) have also been invited. And even though the Bears aren’t in the market for a quarterback, what happens in front of them will dictate which of the best non-quarterback prospects will be available when they go on the clock.
As a reminder, the Bears have the following selections in the upcoming draft:
- Round 1, Pick 8
- Round 2, Pick 39
- Round 4, Pick 101
- Round 4, Pick 111
- Round 5, Pick 136
- Round 6, Pick 167
- Round 7, Pick 198
The Bears don’t have a third-round pick in 2018, because it was sent to the San Francisco 49ers as part of the trade that allowed the team to pick Mitch Trubisky.
Using Jimmy Johnson’s pick value calculations via Tankathon.com, the Bears have the ninth most valuable grouping of picks. So even if the team decided to go in a different direction with its first pick (a stud offensive lineman perhaps?) there are still plenty of opportunities to pick receivers from a deep class in the middle rounds.