Chicago Bears Depth Chart: The most underrated battle heading into camp

Chicago Bears (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears left a major hole on their roster entering the 2021 NFL season. The Bears chose not to re-sign elite kickoff return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson played on the Bears in both 2019 and 2020 earning himself All-Pro honors in both of those seasons. The Bears still chose to let Patterson walk and sign with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bears didn’t add any kickoff return specialists this offseason, so they need to see what they can do with the explosive players they have on their roster already and the players they added this offseason. It will be interesting to see who they think can take over as the full-time returner or if they will have multiple people return kicks.

Whoever steps in will have huge shoes to fill. The Bears have had two of the greatest kickoff returners of all time in Patterson and Devin Hester. Now, whoever steps up will have to live up to the legacy of being a Bears’ kick returner. Here are seven players that could do it.

Chicago Bears kick return options: Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver

As a rookie last season, Darnell Mooney burst onto the scene displaying plenty of desirable traits that most rookie wide receivers don’t have, let alone a fifth-round rookie. Mooney emerged as the second wide receiver alongside Allen Robinson edging out Anthony Miller for the second option. Mooney flashed his incredible speed and ability to create yards after the catch.

Last season, Mooney only returned one kick, but that’s largely due to Patterson being on the roster. His speed and agility could prove to be great for a kick returner in the NFL. He doesn’t have much experience in it, but he could develop into a good returner. He likely won’t return kicks though due to how often he plays on offense, but you never know.