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Data Entry: Looking at WR fits in the Draft

| March 20th, 2018

 

Before the Combine, I looked at WRs who found success in coach Matt Nagy’s offense in Kansas City and identified physical traits that they all shared. When examining their Combine performance, I found three drills they all typically excelled at:

  • 40 yard dash: 4.51 seconds or better
  • Vertical jump: 35.5 inches or higher
  • Broad jump: 10 feet or longer

Now that major free agency dominoes have fallen and attention is starting to turn more towards the draft, let’s look at all the WRs from the Combine and see how they fared in these three drills. This will help identify what wide receivers might be good fits for the Bears in the draft this year.


Hit All Three

Out of the forty-four WRs at the Combine, there were 7 who hit all three physical thresholds. They are shown in the table below.

A few thoughts on this group:

  • For my money, DJ Moore is the best WR in the draft for this offense, and I’ve thought that since before the Combine. He’d be a great pick for the Bears in round 2 if he’s still on the board, but it’s also unlikely they look at a WR that high given their investment in the position in free agency.
  • It’s important to remember that simply hitting these three thresholds does not make a good WR. It just means that physically they would be a good fit in this offense, and probably warrant looking into to see how good of a WR they actually are. I am not saying these are the 7 best WRs in the draft.
  • Many of these players are actually projected to go on day 3, including Antonio Calloway, Richie James, Tre’Quan Smith, and Jester Weah. All are very good fits for this offense and are names to keep in mind for the Bears in the later rounds. Michael Gallup has a chance to still be there in round 4 as well.
  • Antonio Calloway is an interesting case. He’s had a laundry list of off-field problems but is immensely talented. If he wasn’t such a problem, he’d likely be drafted in the first two rounds. Could the Bears look for a late-round flyer there?
  • Richie James also jumps out to me as a guy who fits really well. He’s a small school prospect projected to go in the late rounds, and is a small, shifty WR who profiles well into this offense.


Two-For-Three

There were twelve WRs who hit two of the three thresholds at the Combine. They are shown below, with the threshold they missed highlighted in red.

A few thoughts:

  • Pretty much all of the Chiefs players, plus the two WRs the Bears signed in free agency, hit at least two of the three thresholds, so WRs the Bears target in the draft are likely to fall in one of these first two groups.
  • The more high-profile names here are Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton, both of whom are projected to go in the first two rounds.
  • A late-round name from this list who intrigues me is Davon Grayson. He’s a smaller, shifty guy who I think profiles into this offense well stylistically.

One-For-Three

There were elevent WRs who hit 1 of the 3 thresholds at the Combine. They are shown below, with the thresholds they missed highlighted in red.

A few thoughts:

  • Again, this does not mean these players will be bad in the NFL. It just means they don’t match the athletic profile of players who have recently succeeded in Chicago’s offense.
  • Calvin Ridley has been a common projection to Chicago at #8 in mock drafts, but I just don’t see it. I’m sure he’ll be a good NFL WR, but I don’t think he’s a great fit for this offense (and I wrote this before they signed 2 WRs in free agency).
  • Equanimeous St. Brown is an interesting case here, because he only did one of the three drills. His pro day (which is this Thursday) will be worth watching to see how well he jumps. He’s not a small shifty guy, but still has athleticism that could help him find success in Chicago (or anywhere, really).
  • There are a few players here who surprised me because from watching them a bit before the Combine I thought they would fit well in Chicago’s offense. Those are mainly Keke Coutee and James Washington. Washington came close on both his misses, while Coutee had a very poor broad jump. I still think Coutee could be a good day 3 pick for the Bears, because he’s a fast and shifty WR on film. I’ll be interested to see if the jump numbers improve at his pro day on Friday. Washington actually crossed both thresholds at his Pro Day, posting a 4.49 second 40 and 39″ vertical jump, but he’s likely going to be drafted before the Bears consider taking a WR.

No Bueno

Nine WRs hit none of the three thresholds at the Combine. They are shown below, with the thresholds they missed highlighted in red.

A few thoughts:

  • Again, these are not all necessarily bad WRs. They just probably don’t fit in Chicago (have I emphasized that enough?).
  • Auden Tate and Simmie Cobbs have both gotten some love as day 2 WRs, but most of these guys are viewed as later-round prospects.
  • The only one who might match the Bears okay is Daesean Hamilton, who came close on both thresholds he tested but didn’t run the 40. He might be an option in round 4, and on film looks like he could fit fairly well in this offense, as he was pretty good at picking up yards after the catch.

The Unknowns

There were five WRs who did not do any testing at the Combine, and their pro days will be worth monitoring, because many of them are the type of player on film who should fit this offense well (small, shifty, good at yards after the catch). They are listed below.

  • Anthony Miller, Memphis
  • Deontay Burnett, USC
  • Dante Pettis, Washington
  • Braxton Berrios, Miami
  • Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech

Wrapping It Up

I still have to watch film on several more guys who hit 2 or 3 of the thresholds, but right now here are some of my favorites for the Bears based on when they’re expected to be drafted.

  • Round 1: don’t take a WR
  • Round 2: DJ Moore (unlikely they draft one this high though)
  • Round 4: Michael Gallup or Keke Coutee
  • Late rounds: Richie James or Davon Grayson

What WRs do you want to see the Bears target in the draft?

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  • That Guy

    Repeat it with me: No WR in the first 2 rounds. LB and Oline instead.

    • SC Dave

      Agreed

      • That Guy

        It’s weird to even think that, given how awful the WR corps was last year. But hopefully we won’t be snakebit by injuries at the position again, and signing Robinson and Gabriel leads me to think the lack of top-level WR talent in this draft means Trubs will have to make do with what’s on the roster now.

        Maybe Pace digs out a day 3 gem, but other than that, this WR crop rates a “pass” from me.

        • I think a day 3 pick on WR would be wise.

          Right now there’s basically no depth behind those top 3 guys, and Cam could be gone in a year. You can never have too much depth, so a young guy developing behind three veterans makes sense.

          Plus this is a very deep group of WRs, so somebody expected to go on day 2 should be there for them in round 4 (more on that next week).

          • SC Dave

            I would be okay using a 4th rounder or later. Just not our first two licks.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s my RB spot ….. and it doesn’t look like we can carry WRs now.

          • I imagine they’ll look at a RB on day 3 as well. They still have room for 1-2 WRs. I’m assuming top 3 are set as Robinson, Cam, Gabriel, and Bellamy is likely as the last guy (either 5 or 6) for ST purposes. That leaves 1-2 spots, depending on how many WRs they keep.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Kinda hard to have depth, real depth, behind three guys isn’t it?

          • you have 3 starters at WR, so WR4 is your top backup. That’s a spot that should be solid.

            Right now it would be Kevin White or Josh Bellamy. No thanks.

            I’d look to bring Inman and/or Wright back and draft somebody to compete for that role.

          • CanadaBear

            With 4 TE’s, do think they will keep 6 WR’s? If not, if they draft a WR either White or Bellamy is gone. Bellamy looked better towards the end of last season (he could always get open but he actually started catching the ball) and he plays ST’s. That would mean either White or the draft pick gets cut (unless White actually shows something in the preseason/camp). At this point I’d like to think Pace would jettison White and eat the guaranteed money if he looks meh. That or make him play ST’s.

          • SC Dave

            I agree that as it stands now, we need two of Wright, Inman, and White.

            Truthfully, from my ignorant fan perspective, it would be the first two.

            Of course, I’m assuming we keep Bellamy, since he can at least get open

    • Irish Sweetness

      After the signings we made, I guess so. Nelson plus edge rusher would be ideal.

  • catfish44

    I don’t think edmunds is going to be urlacher 2.0.
    @AdamHoge
    15h15 hours ago
    More Adam Hoge Retweeted Andrew Dannehy
    I’ve heard the Urlacher comps. I don’t see Urlacher instincts.Adam Hoge added,
    Andrew Dannehy

    @ChiBearsAD
    I agree with @AdamHoge’s early assessment of T. Edmunds. Something just doesn’t seem quite right. I think it’s all the arm tackles. Just seems right he isn’t in position and relies on size and athleticism to make up for it.

    • catfish44

      he many not be worthy of a #8 pick. trade down, if available, and pick harold landry or marcus davenport? the bears very badly need an edge rusher, but in this draft they may not find one good enough. and, if not, that is really going to hold back their defense.

    • Irish Sweetness

      And who saw Urlacher instincts in Urlacher when he was a safety?

      The knock on Edmunds is the CPU. Then again, how smart is Burfict, or guys like that?
      He’ll probably be there at #8 the more this kind of talk circulates.

      • catfish44

        sure, whatever you think pal. you draft him.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    “I don’t see the instincts of Urlacher”
    -Hoge

    “You were 11 when you were watching him play”
    -Waffle

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Hahahaha.

    • Lach was calling out plays before they even snapped. Even Rodgers admitted he was the smartest LB he faced.
      I’d say that’s pretty good instincts

      • SC Dave

        Expecting the instincts of Urlacher is a bit goofy.

  • Bear Instincts

    First 2 picks should be to fortify the defense with instant plug and plays guys like Roquan Smith or Minkah Fitzpatrick in RD1 and Harold Landry or Lorenzo Carter in RD2. None of this he has potential crap. That’s what Emery said about a certain LB the Patriot’s released yesterday. A top10 pick should be as close to a sure thing as possible. Let the 2nd round and later be about potential.

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      Ward at cornerback is also supposed to be good, mocked to the Bears enough of the times.

  • leftcoastdave

    After all the hard work Data did on WRs this year, Pace had to go and spoil it in FA.
    Still lovin’ it. Three home runs:

    Nagy is likely to tweak the offense, but the Bears are expected to
    resemble what Kansas City and Philadelphia have run in recent years.

    “I don’t have to learn a new offense,” Burton said. “I basically know the
    whole thing, a couple things here and there that they did in Kansas City
    that we did different in Philadelphia, but 95 percent of the playbook I
    already know. So that’s huge from a player’s standpoint.”

    • SC Dave

      Three home runs? They haven’t yet stepped up to the plate.

      And Nagy damn well *better* change the playbook. Otherwise we come in with an offense every defense in the league has already studied.

      • Scharfinator

        Shhh just enjoy the koolaid.

      • EnderWiggin

        I’ve always had the feeling that is the reason for hiring Childress, to help Naggy create a playbook that is original.

        • SC Dave

          I hope so. Aping an existing book is the coaching equivalent of generals fighting the last war instead of the current one.

    • Pace didn’t spoil it in FA at all. He’s followed the blueprint I laid out to a T so far.

      Get one more prominent target: Robinson
      Get one secondary target: Gabriel

      And both of those players fit at least 2 of the 3 thresholds, just like very WR in KC did.

      Build up depth of potential secondary targets: Burton

      Now you continue building up that depth by looking at a WR who fits on day 3 of the draft. Ryan Pace could not have followed my blueprint any better. It’s like he read what I wrote, decided it was a good idea, and did it.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        Be careful. We don’t want you to hurt your arm or hyperextend your elbow patting yourself on your back.

        • CanadaBear

          JW was hanging out with Butch!

        • haha fair enough. I did some bragging on Twitter last week, but kept it off here til now. Damn proud of all the work I did panning out.

          • CanadaBear

            No doubt you do a lot of work for your pieces. Thanks again. Of course, MHBP and I will still be gadflies giving you a hard time.

          • And I would expect nothing less.

          • SC Dave

            No shit. Remember where you are.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            lol – I saw some of your tweets. Just giving you a little crap. You should send your resume over to Pace. He might have a spot open on staff for you.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Appreciate the work Data, but damn it’s to early in the morning for this stuff. Gave me a headache.
    Can you do me a favor? If we draft a WR, comeback and tell us if he is good based on your research.

    • This isn’t intended to tell you whether a WR is good. It’s intended to tell you whether he’s a good fit in this offense. This helps me figure out what guys I should check out to see if they’re good or not.

      • Jokey

        Can you expand some on what makes a good fit? Do you mean guys like Hill and Hunt?

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    Any thoughts on the other OT tackle from Notre Dame – Mike McGlinchey?

  • CanadaBear

    Thanks for doing this JW. Good Stuff!

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis
    • CanadaBear

      ST’s and when the injuries start piling up …

  • CanadaBear
    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Nice to read.

      Still plenty of “ifs” but hard not to feel good about things at the moment.

      I keep wondering if Shaheen is going to pan out this year. If that kid can play, that offense has the potential to be pretty damn scary.

      • CanadaBear

        If he doesn’t pan out it will be a major disappointment. He looked like a slow, clumsy ox at times last year.

        • Yes he did.

          You know who Shaheen reminded me of? Fans aren’t gonna like this comp.

          Matt Spaeth.

          Y’all remember Matt Spaeth? 6’7 265. Ran a 4.83. Drafted in the 3rd (by Steelers).

          Big lumbering “blocking” TE.

          Sound familiar?

          I’m not hating on Shaheen cuz TEs take forever to finally make an impact.
          But a lot of times, they just turn into Matt Spaeth.

          Shaheen just didn’t look explosive or “twitchy” to me, like Gronk, Kelce, Reed or Ertz, or even guys like Austin-Sefarin or Eifert.

          There’s a reason why Pace signed the top TE this FA.

          Hopefully, a whole yr of NFL conditioning and nutrition helps Shaheen look more explosive.

      • SC Dave

        You mean its not hard to feel good. It’s no harder to be skeptical, really.

        But yes, if Adam can play, and Nagy et al understand just how fucking good Jordan Howard is…

        • evantonio

          Sheesh. Where have you been? Howard was a 5th round pick. He’s garbage. We should flip him for a third.

          • You’re joking, but we all know Pace is itching to get that 3rd back.

            If someone offers him a 3rd for Howard, he’ll take it.

          • Irish Sweetness

            A 3rd for one of the top ‘running’ backs in the league? Harsh.

          • CanadaBear

            And you know this, how?

      • John F

        Here’s a few more “if”s”:

        – Can Long play more than 6-8 games before getting injured again
        – Can Meredith come back anywhere close to what he was (which was only above average anyways)
        – Does Fuller revert now that he has his money
        – Can Floyd finish a season
        – Can Goldman play a 16 game season
        – Can Kush stay healthy
        – Can White contribute at all
        – Can we find another DE
        – Is Robinson more injured than we think
        – Can we find a starting LG and better RT
        – Can we find any pass rushers anywhere (Floyd is only good for 6-7 sacks a year)
        – Where is our other inside linebacker going to come from (Kwiat ain’t the one)
        – Can we make it through a season without half the team on IR
        – Can Trub actually complete 65% of his passes (to our players, not the other team)

        That’s quite a list. Basically all of them have to work out for the Bears to have an 8-8 season.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

          Yeah. No other teams in the division or even the rest of the NFL have a list of questions needing answered by September. They’re all set.

          • John F

            IDK, the Bears seem to have a longer list than most, and seem to be counting on almost all of them to work out to have any chance at a decent season.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Noted.

        • evantonio

          I don’t see a single “IF” in there.

          • John F

            How about any rhetorical “if’s” ???

          • evantonio

            no rhetoricals. maybe implied?

        • Irish Sweetness

          Robinson is the one I’m watching. And Long.

          When it’s week 4 and still no production and he’s left MT out to dry … we’ll know.

  • Bear Instincts

    Hurns joined the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie in 2014, the same year Robinson was drafted in the second round, and scored touchdowns on his first two catches in Week One. He had 51 catches and six touchdowns as a rookie and 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in his second season, but missed 11 games with injuries over the last two seasons.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/03/20/jaguars-releasing-allen-hurns/
    Jaguars release Allen Hurns…Allen Robinson tries recruiting him to Chicago
    https://twitter.com/AllenRobinson/status/976101398663360513

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Man. Who the hell is Bortles going to throw to?

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        Opposing DBs, so business as usual.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

          Forgot.

      • they re-signed Marqise Lee, added a TE, and added Donte Moncrief.

        But their main goal is to run the ball 40x a game and beat you into submission.

        • They also have Dade Westbrook who they’re banking on

        • SC Dave

          Old school. I hope we face them in the Super Bowl this year.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I won’t hold my breath for that, just yet.

      • That Guy

        They have a history of drafting real winners at WR, so they’ll probably just count on lightning striking a third time, picking a guy in the 1st round like their other success stories.

    • John F

      I wonder what the Jags know about Robinson that we don’t?

      Probably more injured than we have been led to believe ………. Markus Wheaton Jr. ?????

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        They know that Robinson costs more than they had cap space. That’s why they did not attempt to resign him, and that’s why they are cutting Hurns.

        • John F

          They re-signed a non-injured WR, didn’t they?

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Because that is what they could afford.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Wrong. It’s because everything Jaguars is better dan da George McCaskey Bears. Dats why compadre. Everybody knows it.

  • BenderMcLugh

    Chark! that is all

    • Chark week?

      • SC Dave

        I thought it was Chark Tank.

        • leftcoastdave

          Land Chark!

      • Irish Sweetness

        Baby Chark do doo de doo .. Baby Chark …. do doo de doo

        • leftcoastdave

          Chark attack!

    • Irish Sweetness
      • BenderMcLugh

        yeppers, I just really like his smoothness, lanky range and seems to catch everything. I don’t think he’ll be drafted by da bears unless he falls into the 2nd or 3rd round which is highly unlikely at this point.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Calvin Ridley has been a common projection to Chicago at #8 in mock drafts, but I just don’t see it.”

    That would be a stunner in the wake of there FA signings.

    An unpoular stunner, I might add.

    • I may or may not have written this before FA started

      By which I mean I definitely did. Thought I had edited all that out. Oops.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I’ve said THIS before but I’ve seen plenty of mocks that had 4 or 5 other names for the Bears.

        My draft prediction, pessimist that I am, is that Chubb falls to 7 and we get “Aaron Donald-ed”, again.

        • Irish Sweetness

          I wonder who it will be this year?

          I’m guessing Quinton Nelson. Drafted at #7. Bank it.

    • I think Ridley is falling the 20s and beyond.

      • AlbertInTucson

        NFL Radio says Dallas is interested in him. Hurns, too, as they try and coerce Dez Bryant into take a pay cut.

  • AlbertInTucson

    The Boy named Suh is still on his free agent tour.

    Next visit: Da Raidas.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      That seems like a good fit.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Doesn’t it, though?

        • AlbertInTucson

          He lives in the Northwest.

    • I wonder how much he’s asking for?

      I think he has 3 yrs in him.

      If that’s our window…

      • AlbertInTucson

        He’s made like, 5 visits, already.

      • BuddhaJoe

        He won’t settle for what he’s actually worth. Otherwise I’d say go for it.

        • I don’t know…a lot of teams are throwing 1yr prove it deals to some big name vets (like honey badger, Sheldon Richardson, Mo Wilkerson), so Suh may not command as much as he wants.

          • BuddhaJoe

            I’d be down if that happened. Dude already said he’s trying to get paid though and he comes with fewer question marks than any of those other guys. Somebody will overpay.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Our window is the next hundred years ….

    • Bear Instincts

      That’s OK. Final stop is Halas Hall

  • BuddhaJoe

    Not sure I’d want them to draft any receiver this year. You’ve got Robinson, Gabriel, and Cam which seems pretty good to me. I’m assuming Bellamy sticks around for ST and White gets one more shot. Maybe one in the later rounds but there’s more pressing needs now after the FA moves.

    • Bear Instincts

      Can is visiting the Colts

      • BuddhaJoe

        Literally just read that and was gonna post it. Saw they signed Slausen too.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Who’s Can?

    • Irish Sweetness

      The only argument that could be made for drafting a WR is to draft a Harlem Globetrotter.

      And I don’t give a fanny if Auden Tate doesn’t hit somebody’s imaginary metrics, the dude is 6’5, that’s a huge catch radius no matter what sport you play or if you’re any good at it. They’re jump-ball guys. Speed. Three cones. Bench press. Squat jumps. None of that shit matters. A midget with a higher vertical jump combine is not taking the ball away at the highest point from a huge man.

      Does the WCO ignore Harlem Globetrotters? Hell no. But those guys need to get drafted in 2, and that ain’t going to happen now.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Nobody seems remotely concerned we don’t have a 3-down back?

    • SC Dave

      Jordan Howard

      • Irish Sweetness

        You’d take Jordan Howard over Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson?

        Teams that run the WCO sure care about having a 3-down back.

      • It feels like the league is returning to the 3 down back tho.
        Gurley. Fournette. Zeke. Hunt (Barkley) ..

        Of course teams can still win w rbbc like the Pats or Eagles, but even their main back didnt have to be pulled on 3rd downs (Ajayi-Lewis)

        The great thing about Howard tho is that he’s dirt cheap right now, so really no need to move on (yet)

    • ButtonShoes

      No faith in Jordan, eh?

      • Irish Sweetness

        As a pass receiver in a WCO? Nope. As a chain-mover, sure.

    • BuddhaJoe

      Those days are dead for better or worse. Can’t ask for a much better tandem than Howard and Cohen.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I guess so. But in one-back sets it will be painfully obvious whether we are passing or running.

  • CRAZYBEARNORTH48

    There’s really nothing wrong with the run game..ok maybe a bit with not using them correctly an being so predictable. .but the horses we have are legit

    • I think we have to be more consistent in the run game. One game Howard will dominate. Next game he rushes for 40. Needless to say, we lost when he rushed for 40.
      I blame most of that on Fox , but Nagy has to find ways to get Howard going early cuz when he does, that translates to wins

      • ButtonShoes

        Nagy has to teach Howard to catch.

  • Irish Sweetness

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000922149/article/fiveround-mock-draft-buffalo-bills-trade-up-for-baker-mayfield

    4 QBs in the first six picks. Has that ever happened? This mock leaves us with Nelson at 8 and Edmunds going at 9.

    • Cormonster

      My niece sent me a letter for the Flat Stanley project that her second grade class is doing. Basically, you describe yourself and a little about where you live, take a few pictures with Stanley, and mail the letter on with Flat Stanley to someone else and send a letter to the school with a few pictures.

      I think it’s a cool project and was wondering if you would want to participate. I thought it would be neat for the students to get a letter and maybe some pictures from Thailand. I think your daughters are around the same age. Any interest in doing this?

    • ButtonShoes

      Nelson at 8 wouldn’t be too bad. That solidifies the OL for a decade or more, hopefully. I’m still praying that Chubb somehow falls down to us.

  • BerwynBomber
    • ButtonShoes

      Fuck ESPN. John Fox is an unmitigated failure.

    • CanadaBear

      Ironically he might be OK. Everything I’ve ever read says he’s a chatty devil.

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