Is Elijah Moore dark horse for Chicago Bears at pick 20?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Chicago Bears cannot trade up for one of the big five quarterbacks, they are likely to look at offensive line, wide receiver, and cornerback in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. Those are their biggest needs, are of primary positions, and have a plethora of talent that will be there at pick 20.

There are holes to pick in some of the linemen that will be there, and it will be hard for the team that has had offense set them back for years to take a cornerback first. It leaves a good chance that wide receiver may be the happy medium.

The most mocked receivers are Kadarius Toney, who has risk potential, as well as Rashad Bateman who may have a safer projection. However, with the talk on Bateman and Toney, the receiver that the Chicago Bears have eyes on could be Elijah Moore.

When discussing the wide receiver group, Todd McShay noted that almost every evaluator he talked to had Elijah Moore as their WR4. That is behind Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle. Of course, not many think those three would get to 20. It does leave Chicago with their choice at wide receiver four, and the consensus around the league maybe Elijah Moore.

On one hand, this pick comes with risk. Moore has worked out of the slot for the most part, and Is on the shorter side at just under 5’10”.

However, the strengths start to put into perspective the idea that he could get drafted 20th overall. To start, the Bears’ biggest need would be slot if Anthony Miller is moved. For that size, you have legitimate explosion.

Not ony do the lightning 40-yard dash and agile 3-cone numbers wow you, but the bench should help ease concerns about the size. Beyond that, there is the production. This kid put up.

One of the biggest questions with Kadarius Toney is that it took until senior year to really put up as a trusted weapon. That is not the case with Elijah Moore.

As a true freshman, he got on the field with D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown. He only had 398 yards, but Toney did not eclipse 398 yards at Florida until his senior year. Moore did as a ture freshman with Brown and Metcalf.

According to Scott Barrett, he also has the most yards from scrimmage per game since 2000. Devonta Smith had more yards because of the COVID shortened season, and playoffs allowed him to play more games than Moore. Moore had more production per game.

PFF has him down for catching the highest rate of catchable targets in the country, and Matt Harmon, who charts every route these prospects run had him in the 95th percentile against man coverage.

While concerns come from the slot, Harmon believes his pure separation ability will overcome this.

Harmon compares him to Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin, who have moments outside but make their livings in the slot. Player Profiler compares Moore to Lockett as well. PFF compared him to a faster Cole Beasley, but took the cake by comparing Elijah Moore to Antonio Brown.

When you watch the body control in plays like this, you do get excited and realize this is not just your typical slot wide receiver.

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If the Chicago Bears are going to draft a slot-only wide receiver, Elijah Moore is much safer than Kadarius Toney. He is a much better route runner and works down the field more. It is starting to sound like that sentiment is in the NFL as well, and it should not surprise if the Chicago Bears take Elijah Moore as the fourth wide receiver off the board Thursday.