Will the Bears spend an early draft pick on a wide receiver?
The release of Taylor Gabriel came as a surprise to no one. Back in March 2018, the former Atlanta Falcon signed a lucrative four-year, $26 million contract. But after posting a 688 receiving yard season in his first year, Gabriel missed a considerable amount of time and hauled in just 353 yards.
The dismissal will cost $2 million in dead cap for the Bears next year, but it’s a far cry from what it would have cost to keep him on the roster. Obviously, Pace felt it was a necessary move to upgrade other positions on the roster.
However, the question now shifts to whether the Chicago Bears will spend a draft pick, preferably an early one, on a wide receiver. The current depth chart shows Cordarrelle Patterson as the wide receiver opposite Allen Robinson. The problem there is that Patterson’s best season came as a rookie and at 469 receiving yards.
He’s invaluable as a punt returner and a swiss-army knife on offense, but he is by no means capable of being an every-down wide receiver. The last two drafts saw the Bears take both Riley Ridley and Javon Wims, both Georgia products.
The former was expected to have a larger role in the offense last year after showing a promising end to the 2018 season. However, Wims hauled in just 18 receptions for 186 yards while seeing time in all 16 games.
And Ridley is more of a slot receiver, so it would make sense that he continue to back up Anthony Miller until a course of action forces more playing time. The Bears have to utilize one of their first three picks on a wide receiver.