Is Allen Robinson Chicago Bears starting slot WR?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The big question in the Chicago Bears wide receiver room may have answered itself over the Bears’ path to setting their 53-man roster. With trading Anthony Miller the team did not necessarily have a slot receiver on their team. When they moved Dazz Newsome, the potential slot replacement to the practice squad, and kept Tarik Cohen on the PUP, it became clear that there were a lot of wide-open snaps in the slot.

When the Bears added Breshad Perriman to complete their receiving room it became clear that they were not looking for help in the slot, but rather, they believe they have their starting slot in Allen Robinson.

This is not new for Robinson, last year he ranked 19th in targets from the slot, and averaged over 2 yards per route run in the past two seasons out of the slot. Only Cole Beasley, Davante Adams, and Robby Anderson had over 2 yards per route run on as many targets as Robinson.

However, Robinson does not live in the slot. Last season he spent 25.8% of his snaps in the slot, per PFF. That is actually down from the past two seasons, where he spent 36.5%, and 36.3% of his snaps in the slot during his first two seasons with Matt Nagy.

It is becoming clear that the Bears want to get Robinson back into the slot 10% more if not at a higher rate.

When looking at the Chicago Bears wide receivers, none have ever had a slot rate as high as Robinson. Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, and Breshad Perriman all have the exact same style as well.

The average depth of target for each receiver last year are as follows

Mooney – 11.5, Goodwin -13.4, and Byrd –  11.5, Perriman – 15.1. In comparison, Robinson was at 9.6 last season. 

All four receivers who compliment Robinson are outside wide receivers who have high-end speed and are targeted deep down the field.

This does make sense if you were going to put Robinson in the slot more, and have him eat the underneath routes against the team’s third corners at times. Safeties have to respect the deep corners with the speed on the field which gives Robinson more room to work with.

Obviously, the Chicago Bears are going to play more 12-personnel, and even play more 13 with Jesse James added into the mix. This will typically be with Robinson as the only receiver, or with Robinson on the outside across from Mooney. So, of course, he will get his snaps on the outside.

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However, even if the Bears show a huge increase in that grouping it will be closer to 30% of their snaps, after just 19% last season.  That is going to leave plenty of snaps for Robinson to roam the slot, for what should be expected to be a career-high.