4 former Bears players who just missed the start of the Caleb Williams era

Chicago Bears, Caleb Williams
Chicago Bears, Caleb Williams / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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We're still a little over a month away from the 2024 NFL Draft, but the consensus seems to be that the Chicago Bears will undoubtedly take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first overall pick.

At this point, it would be a shock to see the Bears do anything but take Williams. At his pro day, recently, Williams even spoke of newly-acquired wide receiver Keenan Allen as being "here," like Williams had already been drafted to Chicago.

The Caleb Williams era is already beginning in Chicago and it hasn't even officially, well, begun.

This got us thinking. The Bears should be a fairly competitive team. But, there are a handful of players that just missed the Williams era, and this team could have been even more fun if these guys were involved still.

1. Darnell Mooney, WR

Obviously, Darnell Mooney left via free agency, signing with the Atlanta Falcons, who now have Kirk Cousins manning that ship. The Bears replaced Mooney with Keenan Allen, which wasn't a bad trade-off, I'd say.

Had Mooney stuck around to be the team's third wide receiver, though, that would have given the Bears quite a trio between D.J. Moore, Allen and Mooney. The 2020 fifth-round pick is coming off his worst season yet as a pro, finishing with just 31 receptions for 414 yards and one touchdown last year.

Overall, Mooney caught 213 passes for 2,593 yards and 11 touchdowns over his four years with the Bears. Chicago will now have to look toward the draft in order to replace Mooney and fill out their depth chart at the wide receiver position. But, starting at the top with Moore and Allen? That's a heck of a duo for Williams to walk into.