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Positional Analysis: WR

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Positional Analysis: WR

Sure Things

None

Question Marks

Cam Meredith [RFA]

The only guy that I consider to be talented in the WR core we just have to hope that he is healthy and ready to pick up where he left off in 2016. My hope is that he would handle about 70 targets in 2018.

Kevin White

He will be on IR at some point and the Bears save no money by cutting him. Nothing really to talk about here, he clearly physically cannot hold up at the NFL level.

Free Agents

Kendall Wright

Has a connection with Trubisky so I would explore bringing him back on a reasonable deal to be the 3 or 4. If he wants more targets he may choose to chase those to another team, but worth the conversation.

Dontrelle Inman

Not sure he fits the offense and he disappeared and had a bunch of drops after an encouraging start to his Bears tenure. I am not sure I would re-sign him unless it was on a very favorable terms.

Josh Bellamy

I know he is fast, but he sucks, is a loud mouth, and isn't even that impactful on special times. It is time for Foxy's BFF to take a walk.


Cuts

None

Personnel Preferences [Nagy/Reid or Fangio]

These are my observations based on watching the Chiefs and looking at the history of personnel decisions since Nagy and Reid have worked together. There are some strong preferences in this position.

-Speed: not only to stretch the field, but also to take short passes and make big plays. The Chiefs led the league in short passes, but their WRs averaged 15 YPC, 15 YPC and 13 YPC. The short passes are not staying short.

-They spread the targets around: Hill 105, Wilson 62, Conley/Robinson 59. No one gets more than 45% of the targets in the offense.

-Vertical at all 3 spots: all 3 Chiefs WRs go vertical throughout the game, which keeps the defense guessing and forces a safety or sometimes 2 deep to account for all of the vertical routes from different spots on the field.

-Run blocking is less of a priority: they are running so much run pass option that on many run plays the WR are not even blocking they are running routes on the backside of the formation.

-Philadelphia-Heavy Investment, Kansas City-Value Picks: I am not sure there is much to read into this. In Philly they spent a 1st [Maclin] and a 2nd [Jackson] at the WR position. In Kansas City they spent big [Maclin] and then hit on 5th round [Hill], Conley [3rd] and Wilson [UDFA].

Personnel Thoughts

-I would be shocked if the Bears went WR at the 8th pick despite the need. Lots of risk and no WR jumps off at you like a top 10 pick. My personnel favorite is Ridley, but 8 seems rich.

-This position has been Pace's white whale. He ditched Marshall and Jeffery told him to pound sand and he has not been able to replace them. Royal and White have been huge investments and total trainwrecks. Wright and Inman are solid pros, but neither is more than a 3 or 4.

-I expect them to rely on Meredith to fill one spot. I know that it is a risk with the ACL, but they love Meredith, he produced in 2016, and the ACL happened so early that he should be running during the offseason program.

-I expect them to add at least one starting calibre veteran WR and at least 1 draft pick.

2018 WR Core

540 passes thrown by the Chiefs so using that as a ROUGH NUMBER.

WR-233 targets
TE-157 targets
RB-105 Tragets


1. FA- 70 Targets

2. Meredith-70 Targets

3. Draft Pick-60 targets

4-6. Misc-33

Edited by WindyCity

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I think Meredith can do a lot of damage with his route running, so I hope he comes back 100% healthy.

I am trying to not hate Kevin White this year so I am hoping he will provide something of value in the bubble/tunnel game, which really was his expertise at WVU.

In terms of FA... I think they go after John Brown (28). The thing I've noticed with KC's receivers is elite 3-cone times; they seem to really value that lightning-quick COD and movement in running routes. Meredith, at his size, ran a 6.71 which is insane to me and it shows in some of his cutups.

Meredith

White

Brown

Rookie

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"Kevin White

He will be on IR at some point and the Bears save no money by cutting him. Nothing really to talk about here, he clearly physically cannot hold up at the NFL level."

I keep hearing about White not costing us anything to keep him. It wouldn't cost the Bears anything if we got rid of the practice squad and the last 5 active roster slots. Heck ,  it would save money.

Not filling roster spots does indeed cost the Bears, just not necessarily in salary and cap space. Keeps at least a special teams capable WR off of the roster. Takes away reps from other WR trying to break into the NFL starting lineup. Takes away reps from WR who might actually be healthy enough to suit up for more than 1 2/3 game a season.

All White provides is hope that he can break his string of 3 straight blown seasons due to major injuries and then translate his whole 5 games of NFL game experience into production on the field. Having a fifth year option does provide the Bears a slight window to keep him in 2019 if he has a good 2018, but I don't think many teams build championship rosters burning 4 years of a roster slot to determine if they have a quality NFL starter or not for a one year window.

 

 

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4 hours ago, G08 said:

I think Meredith can do a lot of damage with his route running, so I hope he comes back 100% healthy.

I am trying to not hate Kevin White this year so I am hoping he will provide something of value in the bubble/tunnel game, which really was his expertise at WVU.

In terms of FA... I think they go after John Brown (28). The thing I've noticed with KC's receivers is elite 3-cone times; they seem to really value that lightning-quick COD and movement in running routes. Meredith, at his size, ran a 6.71 which is insane to me and it shows in some of his cutups.

Meredith

White

Brown

Rookie

You know Brown is my guy. I think he’s such a good fit for Nagy. And really, what White was supposed to be coming out was a guy to play that Albert Wilson role getting quick hit bubble screens and cutting up field. I can’t imagine they don’t do it without a legit option for if/when he gets hurt but if he’s ever going to be an asset it’s in that role IMO. 

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5 hours ago, WindyCity said:

2018 WR Core

540 passes thrown by the Chiefs so using that as a ROUGH NUMBER.

WR-233 targets
TE-157 targets
RB-105 Tragets


1. FA- 70 Targets

2. Meredith-70 Targets

3. Draft Pick-60 targets

4-6. Misc-33

I think your rough target numbers are off here because I don’t think we’re going to see Shaheen get Kelce level targets, at least not next year. Also 233+157+105 is only 495, so if you’re using 540 as your rough estimate you still have 45 unallocated targets too.

The FA target number is going to depend on who the player is too. We aren’t likely to pay a guy $10M annually to only target him about once a quarter. I’d expect Meredith would be at more than 70 targets too if he’s gonna be one of our starters. 

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34 minutes ago, AZBearsFan said:

You know Brown is my guy. I think he’s such a good fit for Nagy. And really, what White was supposed to be coming out was a guy to play that Albert Wilson role getting quick hit bubble screens and cutting up field. I can’t imagine they don’t do it without a legit option for if/when he gets hurt but if he’s ever going to be an asset it’s in that role IMO. 

If I'm going to over-pay for any FA this off-season it would far and away be for a WR. We've got to give Trubisky at least one new 'go to' option going into 2018 and then hope that Nagy and Pace and healing in some cases can provide some more. Add proven NFL production at WR and talent and youth to the Oline.

Would Brown be your 'over-pay' WR in the above scenario ?

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26 minutes ago, 51to54 said:

If I'm going to over-pay for any FA this off-season it would far and away be for a WR. We've got to give Trubisky at least one new 'go to' option going into 2018 and then hope that Nagy and Pace and healing in some cases can provide some more. Add proven NFL production at WR and talent and youth to the Oline.

Would Brown be your 'over-pay' WR in the above scenario ?

Overpay doesn’t have to mean go bananas for a guy. I think you can add 2 good WR for what it would cost for just Jarvis Landry, and that they’d still be “overpaying” for those guys based upon production. 

Specific to Brown I think what he should get is what Markus Wheaton got last year (2/11 with about half guaranteed). If he were to get a 2017 Robert Woods deal though (5/34 with $15M guaranteed) I’d be totally fine with that even though it’s an overpay IMO. That cap hit will never be preclusive and it has outs basically every year. I think two WR on these types of contracts plus a draft pick and I’ll be satisfied with what we’ve done at the position. 

Also, call me crazy (and some undoubtedly will), but Markus Wheaton’s skill set is a really good fit for what Nagy does too, and he’s actually healthy now. I think in the this offense we can much more effectively put him in the role where he was successful in Pittsburgh. People would HATE it, but I don’t think it’s the worst idea ever to give him run in this scheme. If he’s your 2nd guy after a FA “starter” signing plus Meredith, White, Inman/Wright, and a WR picked in round 2-4 I’m open to it. I think there’s a good chance any 2nd FA WR is a skill set one-year look see anyway which will probably have a pretty comparable 2018 price tag, and in this scenario if he shows nothing you can cut him at cut downs with only his $1.5M roster bonus as the cost. They paid almost that much to cut Cruz and Aguayo this year. 

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1 hour ago, AZBearsFan said:

I think your rough target numbers are off here because I don’t think we’re going to see Shaheen get Kelce level targets, at least not next year. Also 233+157+105 is only 495, so if you’re using 540 as your rough estimate you still have 45 unallocated targets too.

The FA target number is going to depend on who the player is too. We aren’t likely to pay a guy $10M annually to only target him about once a quarter. I’d expect Meredith would be at more than 70 targets too if he’s gonna be one of our starters. 

I think our WRs will be targeted more. We don’t have the pass catching options at TE and RB.

My guess is someone is closer to 100.

But just based off of what the Chiefs did and everyone staying healthy, which won’t happen, we need FA/Draft combination worthy of 130-150 targets combined.

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11 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

Also, call me crazy (and some undoubtedly will), but Markus Wheaton’s skill set is a really good fit for what Nagy does too, and he’s actually healthy now. I think in the this offense we can much more effectively put him in the role where he was successful in Pittsburgh. People would HATE it, but I don’t think it’s the worst idea ever to give him run in this scheme. If he’s your 2nd guy after a FA “starter” signing plus Meredith, White, Inman/Wright, and a WR picked in round 2-4 I’m open to it. I think there’s a good chance any 2nd FA WR is a skill set one-year look see anyway which will probably have a pretty comparable 2018 price tag, and in this scenario if he shows nothing you can cut him at cut downs with only his $1.5M roster bonus as the cost. They paid almost that much to cut Cruz and Aguayo this year. 

I was JUST going to say this! Don't be surprised if Wheaton sticks around...

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11 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

Overpay doesn’t have to mean go bananas for a guy. I think you can add 2 good WR for what it would cost for just Jarvis Landry, and that they’d still be “overpaying” for those guys based upon production. 

Specific to Brown I think what he should get is what Markus Wheaton got last year (2/11 with about half guaranteed). If he were to get a 2017 Robert Woods deal though (5/34 with $15M guaranteed) I’d be totally fine with that even though it’s an overpay IMO. That cap hit will never be preclusive and it has outs basically every year. I think two WR on these types of contracts plus a draft pick and I’ll be satisfied with what we’ve done at the position. 

Also, call me crazy (and some undoubtedly will), but Markus Wheaton’s skill set is a really good fit for what Nagy does too, and he’s actually healthy now. I think in the this offense we can much more effectively put him in the role where he was successful in Pittsburgh. People would HATE it, but I don’t think it’s the worst idea ever to give him run in this scheme. If he’s your 2nd guy after a FA “starter” signing plus Meredith, White, Inman/Wright, and a WR picked in round 2-4 I’m open to it. I think there’s a good chance any 2nd FA WR is a skill set one-year look see anyway which will probably have a pretty comparable 2018 price tag, and in this scenario if he shows nothing you can cut him at cut downs with only his $1.5M roster bonus as the cost. They paid almost that much to cut Cruz and Aguayo this year. 

I don't think you're crazy AZ because I was thinking the same thing, unless we're both crazy haha.

But to your point, I think Wheaton fits the offense well enough to at least warrant giving him a shot in camp/preseason to see if he can make this team.  His 2018 salary is set to be $5 million which isn't a crazy amount when you consider how little they are paying their other WRs.  And I don't believe there are any guarantees remaining in his contract which would deter the Bears from at least seeing what he can do in the offseason.  I know it's easy to, but I wouldn't write Wheaton off just yet because even thoug he had a pathetic season in 2017 it's hard to fully evaluate him when he was banged up the majority of the year and couldn't really develop a rapport with either QB.

As far as FA goes, I wouldn't be surprised if they added 1-2 WRs (think speedy guys like Albert Wilson/Jaron Brown/etc.) while keeping the current guys they have under contract and then maybe look to add another WR in the middle of the draft somewhere.  Also, don't forget that there's a lot of speculation that Tarik Cohen may play the Tyreek Hill roll in this offense, so that could mean more looks at slot as opposed to in the backfield.

I'd be pleased if the depth chart looked something like this.

WR1: Meredith, FA/Rookie

WR2: FA, White

WR3:  Wheaton, Cohen, FA/Rookie

Edited by topwop1

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Wheaton's skill set may fit, but the guy is a bandaid and makes WAY too much money.

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1 minute ago, WindyCity said:

Wheaton's skill set may fit, but the guy is a bandaid and makes WAY too much money.

No denying he has missed a lot of games the past couple of seasons but again I don't think $5 million is a crazy amount of money considerign what other players will fetch on the open market this year.

A lot of people talk about John Brown but he has also missed more than a few games the past couple of seasons and will likely end up costing more than $5 mil.

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11 hours ago, WindyCity said:

I think our WRs will be targeted more. We don’t have the pass catching options at TE and RB.

My guess is someone is closer to 100.

But just based off of what the Chiefs did and everyone staying healthy, which won’t happen, we need FA/Draft combination worthy of 130-150 targets combined.

Windy, i get the te thing, although i think 87 is going to thrive in this offense, but our leading receiver last year was cohen.  I think he will get the tyreek hill role from the slot, and he's certainly viable enough to take the hb targets. You posted in the coordinator thread just how different this offense is going to be, I think Nagy and Helfrich are really going to enjoy scheming ways to get Cohen into space and letting him do his thing.

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25 minutes ago, Superman(DH23) said:

Windy, i get the te thing, although i think 87 is going to thrive in this offense, but our leading receiver last year was cohen.  I think he will get the tyreek hill role from the slot, and he's certainly viable enough to take the hb targets. You posted in the coordinator thread just how different this offense is going to be, I think Nagy and Helfrich are really going to enjoy scheming ways to get Cohen into space and letting him do his thing.

He is not a WR.

The Chiefs threw 105 passes to RBs, there is more than enough work for him out of the backfield. Even more so because Howard cannot catch.

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