Chicago Bears: 5 Bold predictions for training camp

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Chicago Bears, Riley Ridley
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Riley Ridley takes over the Chicago Bears third wide receiver position

When we think about who are the locks to make the Chicago Bears final wide receiver roster, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Cordarrelle Patterson easily come to mind. The thing is, even though Patterson might be the “third” wide receiver listed on the Chicago Bears depth chart, he will not be the third option.

In 2018, Taylor Gabriel played on 77 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He saw less in 2019 due to injury. This caused an increase in playing time for Miller who saw a 10 percent increase in snaps between his first two seasons. Last year, Patterson was the fourth receiver in most people’s minds and saw only 19 percent of the offensive snaps. Javon Wims on the other hand saw  46 percent. The problem with Patterson is he is somewhat of a gadget and special team player.

In 2020, Riley Ridley is going to take on that third wide receiver target. Wims saw his opportunity last year and could not do anything to prove he gets another shot this season. He is now on the roster bubble for 2020. Although Ridley only saw 10 percent of the offensive snaps his rookie year, he will see a drastic increase this season. I expect Ted Ginn and/or Darnell Mooney to cut into some of his field time, therefore I expect him to come in at around 54 percent of the snaps.

Known for his route running and hands, Ridley caught 6 of his seven targets last year. His average depth of target (aDOT) is 8.9. This might seem like a low number, but this number is actually better than the likes of Michael Thomas.

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This does not mean I think Ridley can become Thomas. Thomas averaged four yards after the catch per reception whereas Ridley only averaged 2.5 yards. This is a big difference in yardage over the course of a season. Ridley has shown enough though to be the third option on offense over the likes of Ted Ginn, Darnell Mooney and Cordarrelle Patterson.