Chicago Bears: Tyler Scott is a player to watch this preseason

Chicago Bears Offseason Workout
Chicago Bears Offseason Workout / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

After months of fans impatiently waiting, Chicago Bears football is back. Well, sort of. With Training Camp kicking off earlier this week, the 2023 NFL season is officially underway. 

Unlike most teams coming off a 3-14 season, the Chicago Bears enter this year with optimism. Hope surrounding quarterback Justin Fields’ development, as well as the additions of wide receiver D.J Moore and offensive tackle Darnell Wright make for a revamped offense.

While early draft picks and returning starters will undoubtedly play a vital role in 2023, for many of them, the results of training camp and preseason games render little significance, as their roles on the team have already been established.

For the players still looking to solidify themselves in the rotation, however, the significance of the preseason can’t be overstated.

Chicago Bears fans should keep an eye on Tyler Scott this preseason

There are dozens of players who fit this criteria. This includes rookie wideout Tyler Scott. Wide receiver might be the Bears' single most improved position from last year. Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are expected to be ready for Week 1, and the aforementioned acquisition of Moore already makes Chicago’s wide receiver room the best it’s been for several years.

Although talent is a driving factor in playing time, it doesn’t completely negate the importance of fit in the offense. Ideally, a wide receiver comprises several unique skill sets, utilizing different players for different purposes. This is where someone like Scott could prove to be quite valuable.

Many fans have speculated that Mooney will be the team’s main slot receiver in 2023, but it’s fair to question how well his game is suited for that role. 

Despite having limited reps from the slot at Cincinnati, Scott projects as an inside receiver in the NFL. This makes his performance in training camp all the more consequential as he will be filling a role he isn’t as familiar with. 

To go with high-end speed, Scott also possesses stellar after-the-catch ability. This elusiveness translates to his route running as well, making Scott a very strong separator to all three levels. 

Of course, it would be disingenuous to discuss a Day 3 draft selection without accounting for what factors caused him to slide in the first place. Many scouts pegged Scott as a late-second to early third-round prospect. 

His fall to the tail end of the fourth round probably stemmed from his lack of upside due to a smaller frame, which is why he is already being penciled in by many as a slot receiver. In addition to the size concerns, Scott wasn’t as sure-handed as teams would like from a possession receiver, with occasional focus drops. 

Even with these limitations, it is widely believed that with the proper development, Scott can fill the prototypical slot role. So much so that he drew comparisons to Tyler Lockett and T.Y Hilton in the pre-draft process.

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Scott clearly has an NFL skill set, but the Chicago Bears have enough talent at the position that he will have to earn playing time. Training camp and preseason play will likely play a major role in the rookie’s usage in 2023.