It wasn’t all that long ago when mock drafts connected the Chicago Bears with Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who is believed to be the best and most polished prospect at his position this year.
And while the ship has sailed regarding the Bears using the No. 8 selection on Ridley, he’s still going to land in the first round … even though he has heard concerns regarding how a player of his size will make the jump into the NFL.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio highlights Ridley’s interview with PFT Live, in which the talented receiver prospect expressed his feelings about how size doesn’t matter: “Man, I’m a football player,” Ridley said. “I got the film. You know, I get the job done. I played with the best. I beat the best. You know, I’m ready. That’s what I say. And I don’t think about it, I just keep working. I think about it when I’m working. I think, you know, I’m going to take advantage of my opportunity.”
So while Ridley might not be buying the concerns, he clearly hears them. In fact, it sounds like they might be a motivating factor pushing him toward what he hopes to be a successful NFL career despite checking in at 6-1 and 189 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Ridley told PFT Live he met with the Bears, Patriots, Titans, Panthers, and Cowboys. The Bears stand out in this group because they’re the only team in the top-10 Ridley mentions. If you’ll recall, Ridley met with Chicago representatives at the Combine. Ridley had an impressive showing in position drills that left Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin in awe.
While speaking with reporters at Halas Hall during last week’s three-day minicamp, Matt Nagy hinted the team could draft a wide receiver in an attempt to add some talent and depth to a group headlined by Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and a recovering Kevin White. And that those words came on the same day Ridley met with the Bears (for at least the second time) was – at minimum – worth jotting down.
The Bears aren’t likely to draft Ridley if they stay in the top-10. But if the team finds a way to slide back and add a few picks, GM Ryan Pace could probably do worse than drafting a player who has long been believed to be the highest-regarded prospect at a skill position that happens to be a position of need.