Chicago Bears must use Darnell Mooney this way more often

Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

One thing that Matt Nagy was not good at as the Chicago Bears head coach was making changes to his preconceived notions. Nagy viewed Darnell Mooney as a deep threat and utilized him as such, but he did not realize that there was untapped potential for Mooney underneath.

Because of this Darnell Mooney has now become an underrated screen threat.

Chicago Bears must use Darnell Mooney on more screenplays

Last season Darnell Mooney ranked 6th in quarterback rating on screens when he was targeted according to PFF.

Mooney was seventh in yards on screens, with Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, Chris Godwin, Mecole Hardman, Rondale Moore, and Davante Adams as the only names ahead of him.

With that, he ranked 10th in yards after the catch on screens, and ninth in yards per route run when he ran screenplays. What is unfortunate is that despite being top ten in all categories, he was targeted just 16 times on screenplays, which ranks 13th.

The percent of his targets that were screens was 11.9%, which is the 24th most often. Of course, that is slightly up from the 9.4% rate that he carried as a rookie.

Deebo Samuel was at 21.9%, Godwin and Hardman at 29%. Rondale Moore was at 50%, but even Davante Adams saw 14.7% of his targets come on screens. Only Cooper Kupp with a 10.9% rate had more yards on screens than Mooney with a lower rate of screen receptions.

The top seven players in targets are between 25 and 36. That would be an increase of 10 to 20 more for Mooney than what he had last season.

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Considering it was a successful play last season, you would think that Nagy would have called it more often. Still, it should now be on the new coaches to recognize this and put Mooney in more situations where he is able to catch the ball at the line of scrimmage and use his speed after the catch.