Chase Is On and Bears Are Trailing

The NFC North receiver groups all look faster on average than the Bears as they continue to scour the college ranks for more speed at the position.
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There is not doubt the Bears are placing wide receiver in their list of high priorities.

They've continued looking closely at slot receivers and even at a few X-receiver types during pro days. Rondale Moore, Kadarius Toney and D'Wayne Eskridge all loom as potential targets. Moore and Eskridge have spoken with the team, according to Bear Report's Zack Pearson.

For a team faced with the sudden loss of a cornerback starter, the loss of a nickel cornerback and a lost starter at tackle, wide receiver almost seems a luxury position.

After all, no Bears receiver is out of contract except Allen Robinson. He has already been retained with a franchise tag. Cordarrelle Patterson is also a free agent but was more of a backup running back last season than a wide receiver.

The easy answer for this is on the stop watch and the rosters of NFC North opponents.

Going by 40-yard times, the Bears have possibly the slowest group of wide receivers in the division. Coach Matt Nagy's vision for the offense when he came from Kansas City was that Chiefs model with a group of 4.3-second guys in the 40.

Instead, Anthony Miller is their fastest wide receiver and there was no real 40 time posted for him at the combine because he was overcoming an injury. One pro day account put him at 4.52 seconds, which makes him the fastest Bears wide receiver. Allen Robinson (4.6), Riley Ridley (4.58) and Javon Wims (4.53) are not slow, but not burners.

Only Darnell Mooney rates as a burner at 4.38 in the 40. If they're continuing to emphasize a spread offense, they need one or two more like Mooney. Their eyes were opened to this two years ago when Kansas City's receivers ran circles around their secondary.

Meanwhile, the Packers have Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4.37) and Equanimeous St. Brown (4.48) to go with possibly the most dangerous X-receiver in the game, Davante Adams.

The Vikings last year introduced Justin Jefferson (4.43) to the NFL, a tremendous combination of speed, strength and maneuverablility. They try to claim Adam Thielen ran a 4.45 in a pro day once. Maybe it was a pro day in his dreams.

The Lions brought in one of the fastest receivers in the game. Breshad Perriman was said to be between 4.24 and 4.27 at a pro day, although he sometimes seems to run so fast he leaves his hands behind. And they've added Tyrell Williams (4.42), Kalif Raymond (4.34) and Damion Ratley (4.39).

Bears scouts have to have those stop watches working with precision in this run up to the draft because they're working to keep their offense from falling further behind in the NFC North's chase for speed.

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