Bears

NFL Draft: Top 5 wide receiver prospects

NFL Draft: Top 5 wide receiver prospects

As the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago quickly approaches, CSNChicago.com is releasing a list of the Top 5 prospects at each position leading up to Day 1 of the draft on Thursday, April 28. Next up is wide receiver.

1. Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi

6’2” | 221 lbs.

2015 stats:

82 receptions, 1153 yards, 11 TDs

Scouting Report:

"Obviously I would not argue with anyone who ranks Treadwell as the top receiver. I love both prospects. Treadwell displayed his physical dominance in college both before and after the catch. Treadwell fits the template for a focal point of an offense at 6’2/221 lbs. His game did not slow down in 2015 after returning from a horrific leg injury. Treadwell can win at every level of the field with position and agility for someone of his size. He is used to catching erratic targets away from his body." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

2. Corey Coleman, Baylor

5’11” | 194 lbs.

2015 stats:

74 receptions, 1,363 yards, 20 TDs

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: Functional athleticism helped Coleman win both “small” and “big” while at Baylor, and the latter is difficult to find with a 5’11/194 lbs receiver. Coleman will win contested catches, elevating over corners or adjusting with body control to haul in targets. Add that on top of vertical speed, quickness in and out of breaks and yards after catch ability, and Coleman has the tools to be an all-around receiver." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

3. Will Fuller, Notre Dame

6’0” | 186 lbs.

2015 stats:

62 receptions, 1,258 yards, 14 TDs

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: Big plays. Big plays. Big plays. Yes, I know there are drops (like there are with Corey Coleman). But any team that draft’s Fuller will understand he will let a couple plays slip away in order to produce some major, potentially game changing, sequences. Fuller has easy speed and can use that to his advantage to create separation on breaking routes." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

4. Josh Doctson, TCU

6’2” | 202 lbs.

2015 stats:

79 receptions, 1,327 yards, 14 TDs

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: Doctson produced so many highlight reel, acrobatic catches in the end zone and along the sideline. He can get open when working back towards the quarterback after winning vertical, resulting in easy separation. A better route runner than I think many expect, specifically with minimizing wasted movement. A very good athlete." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

5. Michael Thomas, Ohio State

6’3” | 212 lbs.

2015 stats:

56 receptions, 781 yards, 9 TDs

Projection:

1st-2nd Round

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: On the Michael Crabtree - Demaryius Thomas spectrum. He can take short passes and surprises with acceleration and balance to pick up yards after the catch. A large portion of Thomas’ catches were made within ten yards of the line of scrimmage, but he can also win vertically and adjusts to the football while it is in the air." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

Click here for profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player. Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Rob Gronkowski 'highly unlikely' to play Sunday against the Bears

Rob Gronkowski 'highly unlikely' to play Sunday against the Bears

Sunday's game against Tom Brady and the Patriots will be a tough test for the Bears, but it looks like they're going to receive a big break.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the Patriots to Chicago and is "highly unlikely" to play Sunday.

Avoiding Gronkowski, who is one of Brady's favorite targets, would be a huge break for the Bears' defense. In six games this season, the tight end has 26 receptions for 405 yards and a touchdown; in 14 games last season, Gronkowski had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gronkowski has not officially been ruled out yet, though time is running out for the Patriots to make a decision.

Meanwhile, Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday despite dealing with an ankle injury. Between having Mack on the field and Gronkowski off of it, good news keeps coming for the Bears' defense.

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

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USA Today Sports Images

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

There’s, probably, only one position in sports that can match the you-had-one-job scrutiny of a placekicker attempting a critical field goal late in a football game. As in: If you make the kick, it was expected; if you miss it, well, you didn’t do the one thing you were brought on to do. 

The comparison here is a closer in baseball. The expectation is whoever is called upon with a one-to-three-run lead in the ninth inning will convert the save and win his team the game. 

But when a closer blows a save and is in the spotlight during baseball’s regular season, there’s always a game the next day or, at worst, in two days. The immediacy and pace of a Major League Baseball team’s schedule lends itself to closers having to “flush” a bad outing and move on to the next one, since it might be tomorrow. 

For Bears kicker Cody Parkey, though, he’s had to wait a week until he gets his next “meaningful” chance at making a field goal after missing a game-winning 53-yard attempt last weekend against the Miami Dolphins. But moving on from a critical missed kick has never, and is not, a problem for the fifth-year veteran. 

“(It takes) five minutes,” Parkey said. “You kick the ball, and if it doesn’t go in you’re not going to sit there and cry on the field, you’re going to continue to move on with your life. I don’t think there’s really much to it other than knowing you’re going to have to kick another one sometime throughout the season, next game, in the next week, you never know. You stay ready so you’ll be ready for the next week.”

Not allowing those missed kicks to fester is an important trait for a placekicker to possess. What helps Parkey quickly work through his misses is focusing on having a good week of kicking in practice, and also an even-keel mindset that’s been instilled in him since a young age. 

“I think I’ve always been pretty mellow,” Parkey said. “At a young age, my coaches told me never let the highs get to high, never let the lows get too low. And I’ve kind of taken that to heart. If I miss a game winner, make a game winner, I’m going to have the same demeanor. I’m just going to be super chill and knowing it’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun, we’re supposed to go out there and try our best. I put in a lot of work and I try my best on the field.”

That’s something, too, that special teams coach Chris Tabor sees in Parkey. 

“He's always been like that,” Tabor said. “He hit a good ball, his line was just off. In his career going in he was 7-of-8 over 50 yards. I'll be honest with you, I thought he was going to make it. And next time we have that situation, I know he will make it.” 

Age is just a number

Sunday will mark the 6th time in Tom Brady’s career that the 41-year-old has faced a head coach younger than him, but the first time it’ll be a coach other than Miami’s Adam Gase (who’s 40). Brady is 3-2 against Gase’s Dophins. 

Matt Nagy, meanwhile, is also 40. Brady just missed playing Kyle Shanahan (38) and Sean McVay (32), facing the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in 2016, a year before both those youthful coaches were hired. 

Meanwhile, the youngest player on the Bears — 21-year-old Roquan Smith — was three years old when Brady made his unassuming NFL debut on Nov. 23, 2000. 

They said it

A couple of amusing one-liners out of Halas Hall this week…

Nagy, when it was brought to his attention that Mitch Trubisky (105.6) has a better passer rating than Brady (98.2), chuckled: “You want to say that one more time?” 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, when asked if he’d ever heard of “Baby Gronk” Adam Shaheen: “(long pause)… Sometimes.”