Darnell Mooney has the potential to be “the man” for the Chicago Bears
Why is it that the Chicago Bears media was so quick to call Allen Robinson a number one receiver? I wrote on this a while ago that I agreed with one of the NFL analysts that Allen Robinson wasn’t an NFL number one caliber receiver. Now I feel that everybody is quick to call Darnell Mooney a solid number two caliber receiver. I am not calling all Chicago Bears fans to join my arms in calling Mooney a number one caliber receiver, but why isn’t he?
Is it his draft status? I want to bring up Antonio Brown, but I know what most will say. So how about Rod Smith, Keenan McCardell, Donald Driver, Wes Welker, and Marques Colston. Were they not number one caliber receivers during their times of dominance in the NFL? Draft status is like buying a new car. It has its highest value until you take it off the lot.
The Chicago Bears already have a stud wide receiver in Darnell Mooney
After that, it becomes about how reliable your car has been throughout the years. You could buy a brand new Mercedes and have issues with it later in the year and every year for the next five years until you get rid of it. However, your buddy could be flawlessly driving that same Honda Civic he bought 20 years ago.
Maybe it’s Darnell Mooney’s size. Mooney is listed at 5’11” and 175 pounds. That is thin at wide receiver. Being thin did not stop Deshaun Jackson, Marvin Harrison, Stefon Diggs, or Emmanuel Sanders. Darnell Mooney falls around the 2.45 pounds per inch category. Starvin Marvin was well underneath that threshold. So what is it that makes the national media and Chicago Bears media put money into this box of only being a number two caliber receiver?
The NFL was quick to put guys like Steve Smith, Antonio Brown, and Tyreek Hill into those categories early in their careers. Mooney had a 62% catch rating in his rookie year. That dropped to only 57.9% last season despite having 140 targets. Some of those catches were impossible to make.
According to Pro Football Focus, Mooney did have four drops this season and two last season. Tyreek Hill has 21 drops in the past two seasons in Mooney’s defense. Darnell Mooney went from a 51.2 rushing grade and a 67.3 receiving grade to 56.1 and 74.9. Many will say Mooney wasn’t drawing the attention Allen Robinson was during his career. If that is the case, Robinson isn’t the number one receiver fans thought.
There is more to Darnell Mooney than just being Jalen Ramsey’s dad. How about Jessie Bates, Bobbie Price, Rasual Douglas, Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmy Ward, Minka Fitzpatrick, Tracey Walker, and more. Sure some of the players aren’t top names. But not every team has Champ Bailey at cornerback.
Only time will tell, but I still don’t understand the replacement for Allen Robinson (#1) narrative. Darnell Mooney needs a running mate. A covered, contested catch guy isn’t exactly something the Chicago Bears organization should be seeking. A receiver’s top job in this order should be to get open, catch the ball, and run after the catch.