A look at the state of the Bears’ tight ends as the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaches.
The Good: Martellus Bennett joined the Bears last year and was a ray of sunshine — both on and off the field. On a bad team, Bennett’s quirks could be a distraction to some and annoying to others, but both he and the Bears enjoyed offensive success last year. In the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Bennett, the Bears have an athletic playmaker over the middle of the field to pair with the tall Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the outside. These three put together form what would look like three-fifths of an NBA starting lineup, given how big in stature they are. In short, it makes life hell on shorter defenders to have to cover these three mammoths. The way of the NFL these days is to have a tight end that can stretch the field deep and take pressure off the wide receivers. Bennett can do exactly that and he’ll only improve with another season in this offense and with Jay Cutler throwing to him.
The Bad: After Bennett, there is uncertainty at the position. The team brought in former Jaguar Zach Miller and have Dante Rosario and Fendi Onobun on the roster as well. Onobun is a project that the Bears desperately want to flourish given his size and athleticism, but he showed less than stellar hands last preseason. Rosario, who had some success with the Carolina Panthers early in his career, caught just one pass last year and only has 18 total catches in the last four years combined. The Bears need a player who can catch passes to further spread the defense out, but who can also stay inline and block. It might be a position they explore in the draft, but not at the expense of filling other needs.