Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Bears on hand to watch Wright speed it up
By Michael C. Wright
Chicago's decision to reunite receiver Brandon Marshall with quarterback Jay Cutler through a trade earlier this month doesn't mean the Bears won't strongly consider using a first-round pick in April's NFL draft to further bolster the receiver position.
Kendall Wright improved his 40 time from 4.61 at the combine to 4.43 at Baylor's pro day on Wednesday.
The Bears made that clear Wednesday with their presence at Baylor's pro day in Waco, Texas. The club, represented by coach Lovie Smith and receivers coach Darryl Drake, watched receiver Kendall Wright improve on a disappointing performance at the NFL Combine (a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash) in Indianapolis by running a 4.43-second 40 that validated the blazing speed displayed by the prospect on game film.
Wright is scheduled for a pre-draft visit in early April with the Bears.
"All I was worried about was running a good 40 time because everybody thought I ran a 4.6," Wright told ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben. "I haven't run one of those since the fifth grade or something."
Wright's 4.61 time from the combine left several scouts wondering whether their eyes deceived them because many considered the receiver one of the fastest among the class based on game film.
Obviously playing speed is much different than timed speed. But Wright's drastic improvement upon his combine time could push him past Notre Dame's Michael Floyd -- another potential Bears target -- who ran a 4.47 in Indianapolis for the No. 2 spot at his position behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.
At the combine, Wright officially put up a vertical jump of 38.5 inches, a broad jump of 10-foot-1 and ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.18 seconds.
"I knew Kendall could run a 4.4 or a 4.3 if he had to," said Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who threw passes to Wright on Wednesday. "He had a bad day at the combine as far as running. He caught the ball well today. He had a one-handed snag that got everybody excited. So I know how Kendall is. I personally want him to be able to get drafted as high as he possibly can."
Wright said he spent extra time after the combine working to improve his starts in the 40, which translated into better times Wednesday at Baylor's pro day. ESPN draft analyst Toddd McShay said Wright's time at the combine left many -- himself included -- shocked because the result in the 40 didn't match up to what many saw on tape.
"He ran a much better time today," McShay said, "and it lines up with what you see on tape. That's the whole thing. That 4.61 that we saw at the combine compared to what you see on tape just made no sense.
Getting that time in the 4.4's helps you kind of solidify the fact he's one of the top two or three receivers in the draft."
Whether Wright lands in Chicago remains to be seen. The Bears hold the 19th pick in the first round, and there's a distinct possibility that Wright could still be there once they are on the clock. That's why the Bears were so well-represented Wednesday at Baylor's pro day, and their attendance means there's a strong possibility they are looking to add to the position despite the addition of Marshall.
"We're hopefully going to get a few more pieces to add to [the offense]," Cutler said last week.
Perhaps the Bears make Wright one of the last on offense.