WHERE IS EARL BENNETT?
Jerry Angelo and his team knew they needed to select a wide receiver in the 2008 draft. The team was in desperate need of a playmaker at that position, even after a trip to Retread Island where Angelo found Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd in the bargain bin. So Angelo used his first pick in round 3–#70 overall–to select Earl Bennett from Vanderbilt.
Bennett was the first receiver in SEC history to have 75 or more catches three straight years, and was named All-SEC in each of those seasons. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and looked impressive in the drills.
So why can’t he get on the field? He has not yet collected his first NFL reception. And I find that odd.
Other teams selected WRs in the 3rd round. Arizona selected Early Doucet at 81. But of course he has Fitzgerald, Boldin and Steve Breaston in front of him. The Falcons took Harry Douglas from Louisville at 84. You may recall Douglas torching the Bears earlier this season for 96 yards on 5 catches. The Giants then took Mario Manningham and the Bengals selected Andre Caldwell. Those teams already had decent depth at the position. But the Bears didn’t.
So why isn’t Bennett on the field? Certainly some players need time to develop even after they are drafted. But a 3rd round pick on a team with no dominant wide receivers? I can’t say it’s on him or the coaching staff because we have no idea.
I had high hopes that he would be a solid playmaker for the Bears–maybe even the new version of Marty Booker. But so far the Bears have just settled on the old one. Now my hope is that he is not this year’s Dan Bazuin/Michael Okwo/Michael Haynes. Booker and Brandon Lloyd will be gone next year. Maybe we’ll see Earl Bennett then. I hope.
[tags]Chicago Bears, Earl Bennett, Jerry Angelo, Marty Booker, NFL[/tags]