|USC Legends News|
Receiving class could tempt Bears
The question seemed to take Bears brass by surprise, since Muhammad is only in the third year of a six-year contract. The point made was valid, though. Muhammad will be 34 a few days after the April 28-29 draft, and so far injuries have kept Mark Bradley and Airese Currie from showing they can be the team's go-to receiver.
"Do I want Jerry Rice? Yeah, I'd take Jerry Rice but there's only so many of those type players that are out there," Angelo said about big-play types in this year's draft.
Whether the Bears pursue a wide receiver in the first round at No. 31 or second round with the 37th pick overall could depend greatly on the extent of their plans to convert Devin Hester to receiver. If they decide a couple plays a game or in specific situations will suffice, they may want to take a shot at a receiver.
Long gone by the 31st pick will be Georgia Tech's incomparable Calvin Johnson, even if they took Washington up on its offer for Lance Briggs and claimed the sixth overall pick.
The Bears could also find a way to get Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad together on the same roster -- not the Steve Smith who took them right out of the 2005 playoffs, but USC's other top wide receiver.
Smith played prep ball in the Los Angeles area, but was born in Alaska. His family is from Chicago and he's familiar with the area. He already has experience being a complementary receiver to Dwayne Jarrett and might be able to do the same for emerging Bears deep threat Bernard Berrian with solid route-running ability.
"I want to be able to run my routes with my eyes closed, just have it down, do different variations of routes and things like that," he said.
Smith has drawn comparisons to former USC receiver Keary Colbert, now with the Carolina Panthers.
"I've learned a lot from him on route running, how to play hard, blocking, really just being that complementary receiver where if you went somewhere else you'd probably be the No. 1 -- just doing your job," Smith said.
Smith's running mate, Dwayne Jarrett, often gets compared to former USC great Mike Williams, a flop in his two years with the Lions. Dwayne Jarrett dislikes those comparisons, even if both are tall receivers.
"I'm just more a humble guy and Mike is just kind of different," Dwayne Jarrett said. "We have different personalities. His game is different than mine."
Smith said he patterns his style more after Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, a friend from when he was being recruited by Fitzgerald's old school, Pittsburgh.
Although he wanted to come off sounding more humble than Williams, he couldn't help jumping on his own bandwagon.
"Just look at my body of work. I won a national championship as a freshman," he said. "Sophomore year, we went back and lost. And then the Rose Bowl, we happened to win that game. I've been All-American two times, broke every record at USC, fourth in NCAA history in scoring touchdowns. I had 41. So look at the film."
LSU's Dwayne Bowe probably fits the Bears' playing style best. He's big (6-2 ½, 221), strong, physical, a good blocker in the running game and has the ability to work the middle. He has been a "Z" receiver in a West Coast attack, which is where Muhammad plays.
Bowe breaks tackles sometimes like a running back. His play picked up greatly after corrective eye surgery prior to his senior year.
"I always wore contacts, so I never really knew (how bad his vision was) until the contacts came out during the game and I really couldn't see the ball," he said. "So I just wanted to get them corrected and it helped me out a lot."
Ted Ginn Jr. might be a bit light at 178 pounds, but could also be the next Steve Smith -- Carolina's Steve Smith; a smaller quicker game-breaker. He also thinks he can be the next Devin Hester when returning punts and kicks.
"If he can do it, I believe I can do it," Ted Ginn Jr. said. "I'm not trying to be cocky, but we do have the same abilities and same type speed."
OTHER USC FOOTBALL NEWS
USC FOOTBALL NEWS