I have seen expectations and predictions that range from anywhere between 100 yards to 700 for the WR group. The expectations for Mooney seem a bit high considering that Nagy in past seasons has handicapped our rookie receivers workload for reasons that are unknown. That being said, if Mooney were to have a role on offense I believe that he would have an immediate impact that could help other Bears receivers.
A deep threat, something the Bears have been lacking but trying to address since Mike Glennon was our QB, by signing Markus Wheaton in 2017 to when they added Taylor Gabriel in 2018. Even though Gabriel could have been a serviceable deep threat, his role almost immediately turned into one of the technicians of the offense.
That being said, going into the draft I wanted the Bears to add depth to their receiving core by adding a true deep threat, possibly Jalen Reagor, or even a KJ Hamler out of Penn State with their first second round pick. But instead of picking a receiver, the Bears got Cole Kmet, and then pounced on Darnell Mooney in the 5th round.
Although Mooney doesn’t come with the insane catch radius and route running that comes with Reagor, or the ball tracking and chasing abilities that come with Hamler, Mooney does come with one of the most vital components that come with both Hamler and Reager, and he can do it just as well. Darnell Mooney does come with an elite ability to take the top off the defense, with his 4.38 speed, he will be made sure not to be left 1 on 1 with no safety help, and that’s where his value lies. Mooney’s deep routes open up the rest of the field for his fellow receivers to make plays.
How much production will we see out of Mooney in 2020?
Quite frankly I do not have the answer that you are looking for, there is a real chance that Mooney ends up with anywhere from 0-300 yards, as we have no clue on how much he will be incorporated into the offense in year 1.
Photo: Justin Melo/Draft Wire