Riley Ridley should be given a shot to start this year for the Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have had a tough time under Ryan Pace, revamping the receiver room. Pace drafted Kevin White, who was supposed to take over for Alshon Jeffery, who seemed not to want to be part of the team going further.
Before Matt Nagy, John Fox wanted big fast receivers that could out physical defensive backs downfield to make a play on the ball. Once Matt Nagy was brought in as head coach, pure speed receivers such as Josh Bellamy weren’t retained. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace developed a plan to target different types of route runners.
Allan Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton were brought in as different positions, but all possessed above-average to elite route-running skills to their various positions. Anthony Miller was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft while Javon Wims was a flier seventh-round draft selection.
Route Running and toughness seemed to be the focal point for what Matt Nagy was looking for in his receiving core. So why should Riley Ridley be given the starting role next to Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson?
Ridley is a crafty route-runner that uses his feet to manipulate defenders into getting himself open. Matt Nagy has stressed football intelligence over athleticism in his offense. If Matt Nagy could get Chad Johnson as a receiver on this team, he would be the ideal fit. The 6’1″ 188 lbs receiver ran 4.58 seconds (40-yard dash) and had a 33-inch vertical jump.
Riley Ridley not only has eerie similar combine metrics to Johnson, but Ridley also trained with Johnson before the 2019 NFL draft. Matt Nagy is known not to play rookies until they fully develop his trust in his offense.