Chicago Bears: Predicting the final wide receivers depth chart

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears – Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

Darnell Mooney is going to be the second option for the Chicago Bears in 2021

As easy as it was to say that Allen Robinson is the top receiver on the Chicago Bears depth chart, Darnell Mooney is the clear choice as the second option. Mooney is a fifth-round draft pick that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy selected last year. He comes into the 2021 NFL season with greater expectations. Can he live up to those expectations?

In his rookie season, Mooney played with two separate quarterbacks and both struggled to get him the ball deep. Had Mooney seen a few better deep balls, his stats would stand out even more. The rookie saw 98 targets in 2020, that’s pretty amazing for a rookie selected in the fifth round. He caught 61 of them for 631 yards and four touchdowns. Again, a few better-placed balls and he should have seen closer to 800 yards and at least six touchdowns.

Mooney got the attention of Matt Nagy early and it paid off for both of them. As the season progressed, it did not take long for Mooney to see himself vaulted into the WR2 spot on the depth chart — leapfrogging Anthony Miller.

Like many others, I am expecting a breakout year for Mooney. Hopefully, he does not fall into the same category as Anthony Miller did after his first year. Miller showed great promise in 2018 too but has never lived up to those expectations since.  The good news is that Mooney had only one drop last season, whereas Miller had four his rookie year with fewer targets and nearly half the catches.