Phil Emery continues to drop hints that it will be a wealth of offensive playmakers that entices teams late in the first round to move up to the Chicago Bears 14th slot. He’s not wrong. Considering their requirements lay on defense the team has every reason to want to move down since a number of positions will require addressing, and for that they will need more picks. So with that in mind, here is a list of offensive names in the 2014 NFL draft who need to have a great scouting combine to assist Chicago in their mission.
Marqise Lee – WR – USC
Sammy Watkins is widely considered the best wide receiver in the draft, which is why he won’t last beyond the top ten. That just finding out how good those behind him are. At present Marqise Lee out of USC is right at the top of that list. While not big, his speed, agility, acceleration and polished mechanics make him a potentially deadly weapon. If he can showcase all those traits and even a few surprise ones at the combine he is bound to get attention from teams looking for that playmaker on offense.
Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
The same goes for Texas A&M standout Mike Evans. Unlike Lee though his traits include a solid 6’5″ frame coupled with good strength and explosive leaping ability that makes him a nightmare to cover in contested catch situations. The fact he frequently dominated in 2013 despite being a sophomore should further add to the intrigue. The trend for bigger receivers is a alive and well. Evans fits the profile perfectly and there are certainly teams hoping he proves that at the combine.
Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina
Tight end is the en vogue offensive position of late and the 2014 draft class has its share of intriguing prospects. However, sitting atop the heap is Eric Ebron out of North Carolina. From a physical standpoint he is already drawing comparisons to All-Pro Vernon Davis. That is lofty company but teams still aren’t sure about Ebron’s work ethic and commitment. How he performs at the combine will go a long way towards confirming or denouncing those fears. If he does indeed look like another Davis, the frenzy to get him can only make the Chicago Bears pick seem more enticing.
Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Florida State
Nobody is sure how to feel about Kelvin Benjamin yet. On the surface it’s hard to ignore his raw potential. The FloridaState product is another 6’5″ mammoth with sneaky quickness that allows him to get open. He’s got the bulk to shake off defenders and the mentality to make big catches, as he proved in the waning seconds of the national championship. Still, there are some flaws to his game that need assessing. None of them are egregious but could spell the difference between go-get and wait-and-see.
Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are hands down the best offensive linemen in the draft and really the only two expected to go in the top ten. The question after that is how strong the tackle and guard class will be behind them. One name that has drawn attention is Taylor Lewan. The Michigan standout has the chops to anchor at left tackle in the NFL. He’s big, physical and nasty with enough athleticism to cover ground quickly. His biggest issue is maturity and discipline, which is why the interview process will tell his story. Should everything check out and he slips to the Bears, there are definitely some teams within striking distance who might come after him.