I really like the Senior Bowl receiver group this season because there is a wide variety of talent and skillsets available for the Chicago Bears.
The Bears aren’t in a dire need for more receiving threats, but it would be a shame if they ignored both the wide receivers and the tight ends. Chicago isn’t in serious need of a tight end, but when Trey Burton didn’t play in the Wild Card game against Philly, Mitchell Trubisky sorely missed his top security blanket.
I’ll sadly gloss over Hunter Renfrow, Deebo Samuel, and David Stills given that they are likely long gone when the Bears pick 87th overall. Everyone knows Renfrow is a Clemson legend after playing there for a decade. Go watch what Samuel did to the Clemson secondary (the same secondary that stymied Alabama’s offense); he’s a possible day one player. Stills catches literally everything thrown his way because he’s a really good jump ball target. I like those three a lot, but I don’t see any of them making it to the Bears in a weak pass-catching class.
I’ll let the bios speak for themselves, enjoy:
Keelan Doss, WR, University of California-Davis: I got a chance to watch Doss have a nice game against San Jose State early on in the season and oh boy was I intrigued. He weighs in a 206 pounds at a six-foot, three-inch stature, which is the size that every NFL team wants. He bagged a whopping 118 passes for 1,334 yards and nine scores in his final year with the Aggies. To me, his biggest test at the next level will be if he can consistently get separation against the opposition (pretty much “Can he get off press coverage consistently?”). I think he has a nice game on Saturday and rockets up Big Boards.
Andy Isabella, WR, University of Massachusetts: Don’t ask Kirby Smart what Isabella did to his Georgia defense. He only burnt them to a cinder with a 19 catch, 219 yards, two touchdown performance. That was sort of the moment that the former Minuteman made his presence felt in the NFL Draft world. More than likely the five-foot, eight-inch product out of Mayfield, Ohio (how funny would it be if he was drafted by the Browns) will be the typical slot receiver at the next level. That probably means that the New England Patriots will draft him as Julian Edelman‘s successor (because of course). He’d be a great fit in Matt Nagy’s offense with the RPO and screen concepts the Bears deploy to manufacture targets.
Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State University: In what is an insanely stacked tight end class, guys like Oliver are completely lost in the mix. It certainly does not help that his team went 1-11 last year. But he stood out amongst his teammates as a legitimate NFL prospect. He grabbed 56 catches for 709 yards and four scores last season. Just because of the depth of the tight end class, even with a solid week, he probably still winds up being a day three pick. Any other year, he probably winds up being a day two lock, thus making him a probable steal for whoever makes a move for him. The Bears would have a good receiving target to tag with Burton and Adam Shaheen.
Penny Hart, WR, Georgia Southern: Hart has a very similar build to Isabella, with the five-foot, eight-inch, 180-pound stature. It’s kind of funny, actually. Depending on where you look or who you may ask on Twitter, Hart looks to have actually stolen some of Isabella’s thunder. He has a wicked quick first step and a surprising wingspan of 31 and 3/8 inches. So not only does he get open, but his catch radius is far greater than the average slot receiver. Hart was absolutely dominant in the 1-on-1 drills against DBs, as he lined up versus press coverage and won over and over. The Bear’s offense is built to manufacture targets to wide open receivers. I almost liken Hart to Taylor Gabriel. This just compounds the fact that Hart would be a welcome addition to any NFL offense, let alone Chicago’s.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State University: I’d figure I should squeeze ‘Scary Terry’ into this slide. McLaurin was completely overshadowed in the Buckeye’s pass attack. Dwayne Haskins had to feed him, Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell, Austin Mack, K.J. Hill, and others. So it’s easy to see, especially with Campbell and Hill, why he wasn’t always the first mouth to be fed on a week-to-week basis. But this week was good for McLaurin, as he ran like his life depended on it, hitting speeds of 22.1 mph on Tuesday’s practice. That’ll typically help your stock.