The Chicago Bears received a breakout season from second-year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery last season and could have another breakout star on the roster in last year’s seventh round pick Marquess Wilson who will be relied upon heavily to replace the departed Earl Bennett.
“I think he showed that we can work with him and develop him,” Trestman said Sunday at the NFL owners’ meeting. “He’s got the football intelligence that we’re looking for and the ability to be flexible within the offense. He was consistent. So we’ll see how it goes. We’re not anointing people at this point in time. He’s going to have a chance to compete and be a part of what we do after Alshon and Brandon (Marshall). We’ll see how it goes. We’ve got a long way to go but we like (Wilson) and we’re excited about him to develop him and work him.”
Bennett was released after refusing to take a pay cut from his $2.45 million cap charge after he recorded 32 receptions as the team’s third receiver behind Marshall and Jeffery.
Wilson, 21, only had two catches for 13 yards while playing only 75 snaps, but at 6-4, 185-pounds he possesses exceptional size and was playing catch-up after leaving the Washington State Cougars in the middle of his junior season.
In effect, 2013 was a redshirt year for him to acclimate himself to the pro game and to mature physically as well as mentally. Similar statements were made about Jeffery after a rookie season that saw glimpses of brilliance but was dampened by injuries and inconsistencies.
An offseason training with Marshall turned Jeffery into a pro bowl receiver, could a similar transformation be taking place with Wilson as Marshall and Jeffery take him under their wings?
Jay Cutler and the Bears certainly are hopeful that is the case and if he can replicate Bennett’s numbers from a season ago, the Bears can make a case for boasting the best trio of receivers in the NFL.