Bears rookies hit the ground running

Bears rookies hit the ground running

May 10, 2013, 5:00 pm
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The Bears kicked off their three day rookie minicamp today, which meant it was our first look at the new draft picks.


It's always hard to evaluate players when they don't have pads on, and in this case, really have no knowledge of the system they are trying to learn.

Kyle Long spent most of the day at right guard with 5th round pick Jordan Mills lined up alongside him.

[RELATED: Long, 58 other prospects start their NFL experience]

This rookie camp is a great opportunity for Long and Co. to become familiar with the coaches' styles and expectations and learn as much of the playbook as they can before they get to training camp and the pressure is on for real. The six draft picks got plenty of reps, which is expected considering the majority of the players are undrafted free agents or guys in camp for a weekend tryout.

This is an important rookie class for the Bears and they need this group to develop into key roles over the next few years. They would love to have both Long and Mills to become starters and solidify one side of the line. Linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene exhibited the speed, agility and athleticism we heard about when Phil Emery talked about them after the draft. They could very will be the core of the future at the position.

Cornelius Washington, the sixth-round pick from Georgia was a guy that played both outside linebacker positions and defensive end in college, flexibility the Bears covet. He could end up providing depth as an outside rusher this season. With no pads, it's always tough to gauge anyone outside of the skilled position players, but Washington has the body and the skill set to help. At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Washington ran a 4.55 40 yard dash.

[MORE: For Bears' rookies, time to make crucial first impressions]

One player that will be interesting to watch as training camp arrives is seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson. He is the career leader in receiving yards at Washington State with 3,207 in only 28 starts. He fell down the draft board after some issues with his college coaching staff, but a couple years ago, some people regarded him as a legit NFL prospect. Wilson is 6-foot-3 and another big target and he will get his chances to make the team, considering how thin they are at wide receiver after the Top 3 of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett. Wilson looked good on Day 1 under the circumstances. He's fluid and catches the ball well.