5 College wide receivers the Chicago Bears should target in NFL Draft
By Joseph Herff
The Chicago Bears should look to draft a wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft
At the end of the 2020 NFL season, the Chicago Bears could take a major hit to their receiving core. Star wide receiver Allen Robinson is set to be a free agent and apparently, not a lot of talk regarding an extension has taken place. Outside of Allen Robinson, the Bears don’t have a true star wide receiver.
The Bears are guaranteed to be returning their other two main wide receivers in Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney, but neither are the alpha type of wide receiver Robinson is. After those two, they also return Javon Wims and Riley Ridley who are just mere depth pieces.
It is fairly common for NFL teams to find true star wide receivers anywhere in the NFL Draft, but they aren’t always a guarantee. The Bears should draft a wide receiver at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft whether Allen Robinson comes back or not. Both Mooney and Miller are solid WR2s right now, but Miller will be in a contract year and may not come back given his issues with the playbook and drops.
Here are some wide receivers they should target in the 2021 NFL Draft. They likely won’t have the chance to get Ja’Marr Chase, so he will not be on this list.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 | Age: Jr.
Projected: Round 1
After Chase, Rashod Bateman is the next best wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. Bateman has the size, hands, route running, and speed to be an elite wide receiver at the next level. He is the complete package as a wide receiver and has the chance to continue to climb draft boards before April.
Around a month ago, The Draft Network’s expert Jordan Reid mocked Bateman to the Bears in the first round going 17th overall. He stated that although the Bears may extend Allen Robinson, the Bears don’t have a true wide receiver as Anthony Miller has failed to live up to the hype. He also cites Bateman’s spectacular route running and the ability to get open as a trait that the Bears will desire in their second wide receiver.
Bateman impressed in 2019 catching 60 passes for 1,219 yards (20.3 yards per reception) and 11 touchdowns. He’s been off to a slow start in 2020 thus far catching 24 passes for 302 yards (12.6 yards per reception) and one touchdown in three games.
Bateman may not make it to the Bears in the first and the Bears may not even spend a first-round pick on a wide receiver given their offensive line situation, but if the Bears improve their offensive line through free agency rather than extending Robinson, Bateman would be a perfect fit for the Bears.