The addition of Mike Martz as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator surely adds some intrigue, especially to the wide receivers. We all know the type of offense he likes to run, dating back to his “Greatest Show on Turf” days with the St. Louis Rams. With a gunslinger like Jay Cutler at the helm, it’s possible that the Bears try to replicate that game plan.
Of course, the Rams play in a dome while the Bears have to endure Chicago’s wicked winter weather, which could limit their passing late in the season. Still, let’s take a look at the Bears wide receivers and determine who has the most potential to make an impact:
Devin Hester – We all know the type of speed and ability he has, showing it off on numerous occasions in the return game. His move to the offensive side of the ball has come along slowly, with 57 catches and 757 yards in his second full season as a wide receiver. He’s still learning, but you have to think that Martz will invent ways to get him the ball in the open field.
Whether he designs screens, hands the ball off or lets Cutler unleash a deep bomb, Hester is going to be in the thick of things. He only scored three TDs last season, but the chances are high that he scores significantly more then that this season. Of any receiver on the Bears team, he has the most to gain from Martz’ presence.
He’s currently the 53rd wide receiver coming off the board, though he has gone significantly earlier in some drafts. If you can get him that late, as a fourth wide receiver, I wouldn’t hesitate. Consider him the equivalent of a third-year wide receiver with the chance to really emerge in 2010.
Johnny Knox - He was solid in his rookie year, catching 45 passes for 527 yards and 5 TD. He didn’t come off as much of a deep threat in the passing game, however, with just seven catches going for more then 20 yards.
We know he has speed, due to his success in the return game, but if that can translate into the passing game is yet to be seen. Like Hester, I would think Martz would design plays to get him involved, but he’ll likely play second fiddle to Hester, who is the more explosive of the two.
Earl Bennett - After not being used much in his rookie year, Bennett caught 54 passes for 717 yards in his sophomore campaign. Now, he enters his third-year with something to prove. Another return man, he has a solid rapport with Cutler, finishing second on the team in yards in 2009, behind only Hester (and ahead of star TE Greg Olsen).
While Hester may be the top receiver, Bennett can provide the steadying force in the Bears offense. He’ll be solid, but he’s not likely to be the explosive threat. He’s worth monitoring off the waiver wire, but not worth the gamble on draft day.
Devin Aromashodu – He finally got something of a chance in 2009, playing in 10 games and making 24 catches for 298 yards and 4 TD. While Martz will likely spread the ball around, there are just too many other weapons available to them to consider Aromashodu a good gamble on draft day. While he could emerge, there are probably other options I’d prefer taking. Still, keep the name in mind and monitor him on the waiver wire.
What are your thoughts on the Bears wide receivers? Who has the most potential to emerge? Would you consider drafting any of them?
Make sure to view our other Depth Chart Analysis: