NFL Draft Buzz: WR, DT Targeted

Head coach Lovie Smith (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Chicago Bears added another receiver to their draft wish list recently, a second-day prospect that put up gaudy numbers in college. And a defensive tackle was also in for a recent visit, himself a Day-2 talent that should be available in the later rounds. Who are the latest targets? Find out inside ...

Bess has always produced despite a lack of ideal size and speed
The Monsters of the Midway don't scare anybody in the passing game as currently constituted, with leading receiver Bernard Berrian bolting for Minnesota in free agency and possession target Muhsin Muhammad released this past February.


WR Davone Bess
Isaac Brekken/AP Images

General manager Jerry Angelo has expressed interest in a few of the top wideouts in the NFL Draft, including Limas Sweed of Texas and Early Doucet of LSU, but it appears he's turned his focus to a lesser-heralded pass-receiving prospect.

Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that the Bears have had a visit with Davone Bess of Hawaii, a player who posted serious numbers for the Warriors catching balls from Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan. With Brennan also on the Midway Monsters' watch list, Bess has seemingly caught their attention on tape.

Bess performed well during drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this past February, getting team officials talking despite a lack of prototypical size (5-9 7/8, 194 pounds) and speed (4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash). He runs good routes and is able to create separation coming out of breaks, and he's proven to be especially effective on short and intermediate patterns because of his quickness. He'll have trouble getting deep against NFL corners and might struggle facing press coverage, but he has reliable hands, can make something happen after the catch, and did produce three straight 1,000-yard seasons in June Junes' pass-happy scheme.

According to Scout.com's most recent rankings, Bess is the No. 22 receiver available and projects to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

Dotson looks to be a pretty solid fit for Smith's system up front
Tommie Harris is perhaps the top defensive tackle in the NFL and made it to the Pro Bowl on one leg this past season, although he'll never be the best he can be without a reliable partner in crime lining up next to him.


DT Lionel Dotson
Lisa Blumenfeld/AP Images

The organization still has faith in Dusty Dvoracek, who is ahead of schedule coming back from a Week-1 torn ACL, but the fact remains that he's missed 31 of 32 regular season games since entering the league as a third-round draft pick in 2006.

Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that the Bears have had a visit with Lionel Dotson of Arizona, a player who seems to fit the mold in terms of what head coach Lovie Smith likes to see up front in his Cover-2 system. While many teams might consider Dotson undersized (6-3 5/8, 296 pounds), a one-gap penetrator that can blow up plays in the backfield and put pressure on enemy quarterbacks is what Smith covets.

Possessing a noticeable mean streak and solid upper-body strength in the trenches, Dotson knows how to get off blocks and uses his hands well against bigger linemen. He's quicker than his 40-yard dash time would suggest (5.39 seconds) and works the angles pretty well, plus he's proven to be a sure tackler who can really knock a ball-carrier on his rear every and then. He isn't the most instinctive player and needs to get stronger in his legs, but he's a high-energy guy who could still have his best football in front of him.

According to Scout.com's most recent rankings, Dotson is the No. 19 defensive tackle available and projects to be a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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