Every year, coaches are finding “diamonds in the rough” like Miles Austin and Victor Cruz. This is also a great time for fans to fantasize over the prospects of new schemes dominating and young players growing into the stars they were supposed to.
The Chicago Bears and their fans are no different, and they have every right to feel this way.
Last year, the Bears finally got a taste of an elite receiver and a record-setting defense. After a disappointing end to the season, the Bears brought in a new coaching staff, a scheme and have shifted their focus to offense. Fans and players watched GM Phil Emery make tough decisions like letting veterans like Brian Urlacher walk, but also watched him bring in good young talent along with new offensive weapons.
With a good amount of eye candy to watch during camp and preseason, most fans will overlook a few young, talented players that could be the next household name.
Most fans watch the NFL draft, but not many can name a seventh-round pick. Marquess Wilson is a prime example, and can also prove to be be one of the bigger steals in the 2013 draft. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Wilson has the physical tools to be an elite receiver down the road.
Dropping in the draft due to the dreaded “character corner” card, Wilson found himself with the prospect of not being drafted. Emery decided to take a chance on the young wideout and chances are his decision will pay off.
By Wilson’s last year in college, he had broken many records, including leading his conference in most major receiving categories. He has great size, above average speed, and great body control.Wilson is a great young player to keep a close eye on and will be leading candidate to land the 4th receiver job this season.
At 6-foot-1 and 2o5 pounds, Joe Anderson keeps the trend of tall athletic receivers in tact.
Coming from a small school, Anderson went undrafted and has flown under the radar coming into his second season. Late last season, the practice-squad bound Anderson landed himself a spot on the roster and contributed well on special teams and limited opportunities as a wideout.
Anderson is very athletic and with a full camp and preseason, he could make a nice name for himself. Unless he outplays Wilson for the fourth WR, his special teams skills should land him the final receiver spot.
Many are reading Fendi Onobun‘s name over and over, asking themselves “who?”. Onobun is a big athletic tight end who a former basketball player but can’t seem to stick on an NFL roster. He is with his sixth team and looking at his 6-foot-6 frame and 4.8 speed, it is hard to figure out why he hasn’t formed into a star yet.
With the recent departure of troubled tight end and fullback Evan Rodriguez, the Bears find themselves in need of a no. 2 tight end receiving threat. Onobun fits the bill and through mini camp and the start of training camp, he has excelled. If he continues to improve, expect the Bears to be running some dangerous 2-tight end sets.