Chicago Bears bolster wide receiver depth with two underrated signingsRyan Heckmanon May 12, 2022 at 1:18 pm

One of the major concerns with this Chicago Bears roster following the 2022 NFL Draft was still a lack of depth at wide receiver.

General manager Ryan Poles tried to go with the best player available during the draft, which only netted the Bears one rookie wideout in third-round pick Velus Jones Jr. out of Tennessee. While Jones certainly has an exciting skillset, the feeling after the draft was that Chicago could have used more help.

Wednesday afternoon, the Bears went back to work on the wide receiver front.

Poles and the Bears agreed to terms with two veterans who still have plenty left in the tank: Former San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants wideout Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe, who has played for three different teams over five years.

The Chicago Bears made two smart, underrated signings by bringing in Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe.

While on the surface, these moves don’t seem to be anything earth-shattering, Poles did something very wise here. Both Pettis and Sharpe are still young (26 and 27, respectively) and bring unique experience to the Bears.

Let’s start with Pettis, who was once a highly-touted second rounder out of Washington. This is a guy who came into the league as one of the most electric players in the draft, and could be both a return man and wide receiver — similar to Velus Jones.

Sheeeesh Dante Pettis secures it for the TD ? @Daniel_Jones10 @Giants

? #DALvsNYG on FOX pic.twitter.com/AHgVsyRKPw

— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 3, 2021

Pettis ran a 4.32 in his forty-yard dash and stands 6-foot-1. He’s always had the physical traits to be a good wide receiver in this league. The fallout in San Francisco came due to head coach Kyle Shanahan not liking Pettis’ work ethic in practice. He went from exciting second-round pick to a regular inactive in a hurry. If we’ve learned anything about Shanahan, it’s that he is very particular with which players he gives playing time to.

Last season, Pettis caught on with the Giants and played sparingly. Now, he gets a chance to become the fourth option on this Bears team behind Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and Jones Jr.

Sharpe, meanwhile, has been a solid slot receiver over his young career. He’s a reliable target with above-average route running skills, and should give Justin Fields another dependable option in the passing game.

Other than his stint with Minnesota, Sharpe has been a guy you can count on for anywhere from 25-40 receptions per season. He isn’t going to be the box score stuffer, but he’ll always be there. Sharpe dropped just seven of 204 catchable passes during his college career, according to Pro Football Focus. He has the hands and physical profile at 6-foot-2 to be a regular contributor.

Again, neither of these guys will come in and be a dominant force. But, Poles did add two interesting names with one of them looking to prove he was worth the draft capital, and the other one being a guy you can count on to catch the ball and run great routes.

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