It’s day two of the 2022 NFL draft, which means the Chicago Bears, barring a major upset, will finally make their selections after not having a pick in the first round.
The Bears are looking for upgrades at a number of positions, including offensive and defensive line and cornerback. But the position that’s garnered the most interest has been wide receiver.
Chicago is in serious need of weapons for quarterback Justin Fields and should have some intriguing options for them when their first pick at No. 39 is on the clock.
George Pickens, Skyy Moore, Christian Watson, and Jalen Tolbert are a number of players who might be in play at that spot should the Bears choose to go in that direction. They could also find some of those options with their second pick of the round at No. 48, they should choose to keep the picks.
Unfortunately, the 39th and 48th picks in the draft haven’t yielded great results when it comes to wide receivers. While that doesn’t hold any barring over this year’s crop of receivers, here is the list of receivers who were picked at the respective spots since 2000.
2014: Marqise Lee
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In a second round that was rich in receiver talent, the Jaguars came away with two players at the position. One of them, Allen Robinson, blossomed into a stud playmaker after being picked at the end of the round. The other was Marqise Lee, a player who failed to live up to expectations in part due to injuries after he was picked 39th overall.
Lee had a rough start to his NFL career, failing to make much of an impact his first couple seasons in the league. He started to turn it around in 2016 and 2017, when he caught 119 passes for 1,553 yards and six touchdowns in those two seasons. After signing an extension in 2018, Lee missed much of the next two years due to major knee injuries. He hasn’t played since 2019.
2010: Arrelious Benn
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After a superb career at the University of Illinois, Arrelious Benn was selected 39th overall by the Buccaneers in hopes of jumpstarting their weak receiver corps. Unfortunately, that didn’t end up happening and he was overshadowed by his fellow rookie Mike Williams. Benn didn’t eclipse 400 yards receiving his rookie season while Williams posted over 900 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his sophomore season, Benn was moved down the pecking order seeing just 51 targets on the season as Williams became the top option for Tampa.
After Year 3, the Buccaneers moved on from Benn, trading him for a late-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles. He failed to catch on the with them due to injuries and was out of football until 2016 when he saw time with the Jaguars. He was out of the league after the 2017 season.
2005: Mark Bradley
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2005 NFL draft, 39th pick, Chicago Bears
This one should bring back plenty of memories for Bears fans. Mark Bradley was selected by the Bears after lighting it up at Oklahoma. While the Bears enjoyed a playoff-bound season, Bradley didn’t contribute much to their success. He was injured much of his rookie year and played in just seven games, totaling 230 yards on 18 catches.
It was much of the same his second season where he played in 10 games, but had just 282 yards in the Bears’ Super Bowl season. He did score three touchdowns but it was far from the production the Bears envisioned when they drafted him. Bradley didn’t last long in Chicago, getting released early in the 2008 season. He has some production for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and 2009, but was nothing more than a depth player.
2002: Reche Caldwell
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2002 NFL Draft, 48th pick, San Diego Chargers
The only wide receiver selected with the 48th overall pick since 2000, Reche Caldwell was selected by the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers. Caldwell had a slow start for the Chargers, playing in all 16 games his rookie season but only posting 208 yards on 22 catches, though he did have three touchdowns. He seemingly found his footing during the 2004 season after a hot start, but tore his ACL and was lost for the season. After another so-so season with the Chargers, he was released and wound up with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Caldwell had a career year with the Patriots, catching 61 passes for 760 yards and four touchdowns. He only last one season with them, however, and played his final year with the Washington Redskins (now Commanders) in 2007. Tragically, Caldwell was killed in 2020 during a robbery attempt.