Justin Fields has limited options with the Chicago Bears receiving corps
Wide receiver is a huge question mark for the Chicago Bears heading into the 2022 season and one analyst thinks the group is the worst in the NFL. After losing Allen Robinson in free agency this offseason, the Bears are lacking a true “X” receiver. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields gave a subtle non-answer that the Bears receiving unit would be “good enough” a few weeks ago. Good enough for what?
The Bears made a few moves in free agency, acquiring Byron Pringle and a host of others. The wide receiver room has 12 Bears currently, with the best player being Darnell Mooney. General manager Ryan Poles drafted Velus Jones Jr. in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Jones has his question marks, as the 25-year-old rookie played more as a quick returner in college than at wide receiver.
Analysts have issues with the Bears’ wide receivers
It’s not surprising many national analysts aren’t high on the Bears’ offense or their overall winning prospects this season. Ben Linsey, with Pro Football Focus, wrote the Bears’ wide receivers corps is the worst in the NFL heading into this season.
Here’s what Linsey wrote:
It’s not difficult to see what new general manager Ryan Poles’ strategy is. He wants to build the “right way,” and that means not overspending in free agency or reaching in the draft. The unfortunate side effect of that plan this offseason is that Justin Fields is in the midst of one of the worst offensive situations in the NFL entering a pivotal second season.
Darnell Mooney is the lone established option in the receiving corps after earning a 74.9 PFF receiving grade in his second season out of Tulane. He’s still better suited as a No. 2, which is a title currently held by free agent acquisition Byron Pringle. Leaning heavily on Pringle, Tajae Sharpe, Velus Jones Jr. and Equanimeous St. Brown isn’t where you want to be as an offense.
Unfortunately, this looks spot on…
Bears wide receivers have a lot to prove to the doubters
Mooney is a bright spot, and even he said he has a chip on his shoulder heading into this season, as a former fifth-round pick. Jones, Mooney, and Pringle will bring speed, but everything else is unclear. Fields will also need skills with receivers at route running and catching, something that isn’t certain with that trio. Poles is toying with the line of delaying or flat out destroying the development of Fields with this group.
This group might do something special in training camp. But currently, the offense seems at best inconsistent, according to reports at practice. In my head, reading Mooney, Jones, St. Brown, and Pringle just brings images of a Marx Brothers routine. Poles needs to be more proactive in free agency this summer and sign a truly elite receiver. One who can grow with Fields into a lethal combination in the next few years.
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