The five biggest needs for the Chicago Bears in 2024

The Bears have played better in the second half of the season, but what can take them to the next level in 2024?
The Bears have played better in the second half of the season, but what can take them to the next level in 2024? / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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2) Wide receiver

Muhsin Muhammad once infamously said that Chicago is where wide receivers go to die. For a long time, that seemed to be true, but then D.J. Moore came to town.

Moore has been everything Bears hoped for and more since coming over from the Panthers: a dynamic playmaker that can make the tough catch in traffic, a home run hitter that can stretch the field vertically, and a nightmare in the open field that can get yards after the catch.

Moore has been, by far, Justin Fields' favorite target. He has 1,141 yards on 83 receptions, and there are still two games to go. Cole Kmet is second on the team with 678 yards and 70 catches, but after that, the receiving situation is bleak. Chase Claypool was supposed to be the team's #2 receiver, but calling him a disappointment would be an insult to disappointments, and he has thankfully been jettisoned to Miami.

Darnell Mooney has been the Bears' #2 since Claypool left town, but he has never gotten going. Mooney is averaging only two catches and less than 30 yards per game, and Fields has barely over a 50% completion percentage when targeting him.

For whatever reason, Mooney has regressed greatly since exploding for 81 catches and over 1,000 yards in his second year, and his connection with Fields has looked non-existent, especially in recent weeks. He's also been afflicted with Claypool's distaste for blocking, and has looked disinterested and frustrated as the season has gone on. With his contract expiring after this season, it seems a certainty that his days in Chicago are done.

Luckily for the Bears, this draft class is positively teeming with wide receiver talent, and with the #1 pick, Ryan Poles has multiple ways to secure an offense-altering talent at the position. Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. is at the top of many team's overall big boards, above even Caleb Williams, and Poles could draft him at #1, or trade down a spot or two with a team he knows will draft Williams and/or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the top two picks, and still get Harrison with some extra compensation as a bonus.

Poles could also opt to move further down, securing more draft capital from a quarterback-desperate team, with the goal off drafting LSU receiver Malik Nabers or Washington receiver Rome Odunze. Both are top-tier prospects that dominated the competition this year, and both would look great in navy and orange next year.

Depending on where the Bears' own selection ends up, Poles could even keep the #1 pick, draft Williams, then get one of these receivers with the their own pick, creating the scariest young quarterback and receiver corps since Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins.

Speaking of Higgins, he headlines a free agent wide receiver class that provides yet another avenue for the Bears to upgrade. In addition to Higgins, Colts receiver Michael Pittman, Jr., Bucs veteran Mike Evans, and Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley are all potential options. Each would be clear upgrades over Mooney to pair with Moore and Kmet.