A look at the Chicago Bears best draft picks over the last 10 years
By Evan Bruner
Chicago Bears 2020 NFL Draft: Darnell Mooney, WR
Selection: Fifth Round (173rd overall)
There’s an argument to be made for Jaylon Johnson for this spot, given his value on the defensive end. However, the two things working against him have nothing to do with talent.
First, by being a second-round pick, it’s markedly harder to outperform expectations the way a fifth-rounder like Mooney can. Second, availability is key, and Johnson has missed multiple games in all three of his NFL seasons and has played banged up in several more.
For these reasons, Mooney gets the slight edge. Any Day 3 pick that turns into a starter is a major win for the front office, and few players in the Pace era embody a late-round steal better than Mooney.
He led the team in receiving yards with 1,055 in 2021 and was the focal point of the passing offense. Mooney has amassed a total of 2,179 yards and ten touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL. These figures become more impressive when you take into account how bad the Bears' passing has been statistically.
The addition of Moore will likely relegate Mooney to a supplemental role in the passing game, but that doesn’t change the pleasant surprise his development has been to this point.