Chicago Bears: The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Shrine Game offer draft intrigue

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, KeeSean Johnson
Chicago Bears (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

For once, wide receiver really isn’t a major need for the Bears, but behind their starting three, they are thin.

Behind, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, and Allen Robinson, the only guys under contract are…

Well, just one: Javon Wims.

This isn’t to say that Kevin White and Josh Bellamy are for sure gone this offseason (and I’m not even thinking about the guys on the practice squad), but they need bodies behind those three. Especially given that Miller and Robinson missed games last year.

This group (to me at least) should be one of the more fun ones to watch this weekend:

KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State: The Bears actually met with this productive athlete (sadly no relation to NFL great Keyshawn Johnson) earlier this week. So there’s already some interest. He was the de facto target for Marcus McMaryion, grabbing 95 passes for 1,340 yards and eight scores. He could surely boost his stock in the coming months, but the concerns with him lie with his speed (or lack thereof). In this year’s weak receiver class, he could go earlier than expected.

Xavier Ubosi, University of Alabama-Birmingham: Ubosi was a rock-star for the suddenly reborn Blazers program. He had a big part role in their 11-3 season, posting 35 catches, 837 yards, and eight scores. Against the Northern Illinois Huskies, he picked a great game to close his collegiate career (seven grabs, 227 yards, three TDs!). To put it bluntly, the six-foot, three-inch stud has serious big-play ability and is one of my favorite sleepers this year.

Flynn Nagel, Northwestern University: Cue the short, caucasian, gritty, tough, slot receiver, Julian Edelman/Wes Welker comparisons! All joking aside, Nagel was a favorite target for Clayton Thorson, tallying 68 catches, 780 yards, but just two scores. Being a local product, the Bears likely will get several good looks at him over the coming weeks, especially at the local Pro Day. There’s a possibility that if he goes undrafted, he might make an appearance at rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.

Terry Godwin II, University of Georgia: Word on the street was that Godwin was dominant in Shrine Game practices. Georgia’s offensive gameplan is to relentlessly pound the rock. That’s what Kirby Smart has been doing since he got to Athens. So don’t freak out at the 20-340-3 receiving line Godwin put up this season. Odds are the Bears could dip back into the UGA well and be themselves rather pleased with what they may uncover.