The Chicago Bears really need someone for Justin Fields to throw the ball to.
Romeo Doubs WR, Nevada
What can he prove?: Dominate against legit NFL competition
With Jahan Dotson reportedly dropping out, Romeo Doubs is my highest-graded receiver that will be participating at the Senior Bowl. He fits the mold of a true field stretcher with legit speed, burst, and ball tracking ability.
He dominated during his time at Nevada, yet was never really tested against NFL competition. With Senior Bowl cornerbacks like Roger McCreary, Tariq Woolen, Derion Kendrick, and others, there is no shortage of guys who will play on Sunday that he will go up against.
The 1 on 1 WR vs. DB drills in particular is an excellent stage for Doubs to prove that he can hang with the best of the best. With a strong showing, he can firmly enter his name in the day 2 conversation and be someone that the Bears should have their eyes on.
Everyone besides Matt Nagy knows Justin Fields loves to throw the ball down the field and that’s where Doubs wins. Let’s see if he has what takes to grab the Bears’ attention.
Jalen Tolbert WR, South Alabama
What can he prove?: Separation ability
Jalen Tolbert was one of the most productive wide receivers in college football with 82 catches and 1474 receiving yards. On top of his elite production, there are a lot of NFL qualities to like on his tape.
He has that natural ability to pluck the ball out of the air and the speed to get behind defenders. When Tolbert wasn’t being targeted down the field, he made things happen in the screen/underneath game after the catch.
Now, playing at South Alabama in the Sunbelt Conference does raise some questions in terms of competition level. However, there is even more of a pressing conundrum on his tape and that is how he separates.
There aren’t a lot of clean wins off the line of scrimmage at moment. It seems like he has a general understanding of what he needs to do to uncover but lacks the quicks to truly shake defenders away from him. He wins mostly because he is more physically imposing than his opponents rather than relying on his skills.
That is why it is going to be interesting to see if this playing style translates as well against the best competition that he will go up against which are some of the top corners in the class. Or maybe, if he has taken strides in this area of his game in his preparation leading up to this event.
Isaiah Likely TE, Coastal Carolina
What he can prove?: Conventional usage/receiver versatility
The tight end position is one of the most scarce in the NFL because there aren’t a lot of guys who are built like jumbo-sized receivers with high-end athletic traits. Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely fits that bill in many ways.
He is by far the most athletic tight end that I have watched in the class thus far. He is a terror after the catch and has the juice to turn small gains into big ones.
The problem with his evaluation is that he is a bit undersized at 240 lbs and wasn’t used as a traditional tight end in Coastal Carolina’s offense. He played more of a hybrid H-back role that allowed him to run routes from the slot and out of the backfield.
That is why the Senior Bowl will be a great opportunity for him to be used more conventionally. We will be able to see if he can get by as a blocker at 240 lbs and if he can be effective from in-line alignment.
Even if those questions aren’t fully answered, Likely will also have the chance to display some versatility as a wide receiver. The 1v1 drills will be crucial for him to show that he can win in a number of different ways given how unconventional of a player he is.