- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here is the fourth of eight positional breakdowns of the Chicago Bears' offseason roster following the NFL draft.
Position: Wide receiver
Notable subtractions: Brandon Marshall
Summary: Even without Marshall, the Bears have a strong group of wide receivers led by the 6-foot-3 Alshon Jeffery, who is entering the final year of his contract. Jeffery had a team-high 1,133 receiving yards in 2014 and now has 2,921 career receiving yards -- the second-most receiving yards ever by a Bears player in their first three NFL seasons. Jeffery is also fifth in the league in receiving touchdowns (17) since 2013. On the other side of the line, White, who also stands 6-foot-3, projects to be a superstar. The seventh overall pick in the draft, White caught 109 balls for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns last season at West Virginia. He also runs a 4.35 40-yard dash. White still needs to prove himself, but appears to be a younger version of Marshall on paper. The Bears gave Royal $10 million guaranteed in free agency. The seven-year veteran had 62 catches for 778 yards and seven touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers in 2014 and is expected to be the slot receiver. Third-year wideout Marquess Wilson was supposed to have a breakout season last season, but a training camp injury derailed his sophomore campaign. Wilson was a Phil Emery late draft pick (seventh-round), so the new regime has no ties to the 6-foot-4 receiver. Wilson needs a strong preseason to ensure he’s on the 53-man roster. Maybe Wilson thrives in Bourbonnais because public expectations have been lowered. Regardless of Wilson, the Bears have one of the better wide receiver trios in the league with Jeffery, White and Royal. The group should be a strength of the team unless the unit suffers a rash of injuries like it did last season.
140dMichael C. Wright
144dMichael C. Wright