With the departure of Alshon Jeffery this offseason, the Chicago Bears are now without a bonafide top wide receiver. Sure, they have a handful of solid pieces at the position, but none of them are good enough to scare opposing defenses.
If he were on the Bears, then Julio Jones would be exactly that.
Jones, in my opinion, is the best pound-for-pound wide receiver in the NFL today. His combination of size, speed, hands, route-running ability and overall physicality is arguably the best in the league. He has been a dominant force since he was drafted in 2011.
Jones has topped 1,000 receiving yards in all but two seasons: 2011 (his rookie year) and 2013. In 2011, he missed three games due to injury and still finished with 959 yards. Had he stayed healthy for those games, he would have undoubtedly topped 1,000.
Injury struck Jones in 2013 as well, as he missed all but five games due to a fractured foot. Before he got hurt, however, he was well on his way to topping 1,000; he had 580 yards through Week 5. Had he stayed on the pace he had, he would have ended up with 131 receptions, 1,856 yards and six touchdowns.
Outside of those two exceptions, the Alabama alum has been lighting up defenses around the league every year. A four-time Pro Bowler, Jones has led the NFL in receiving yards once and tied for the most receptions once, as well.
Jones has the ability to manhandle defensive backs with ease. At 6’3” and 200 pounds, he physically overwhelms nearly any cornerback. He is a phenomenal jump-ball receiver who doesn't shy away from contact. He's tough to bring down, and he's a very good blocker, to boot.
And if he doesn't beat defenders with size, he'll certainly beat them with speed. Jones ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, a time which is confirmed by his athleticism on tape. Once he's in the open field, it's tough for anyone to catch up to him. He's easily one of the best route runners in the league today, too.
Jones' size and strength makes him a valuable red zone target. He's also an efficient "chain mover" - his 233 receiving first downs since 2014 are tied with Antonio Brown for the most in the league.
I was going to go the easy route and choose a cornerback or a safety for this challenge. And granted, there are a lot of defensive backs who would be fantastic with the Bears. Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Eric Berry come to mind as a few good options.
However, with further evaluation, I changed my mind. Chicago's defense is a very talented group, and they would definitely benefit from adding a top-tier defensive backs. But, if you look at the Bears' offense, they aren't nearly as close to a finished product as their defense. Having an elite weapon like Jones would instantly help their passing attack (and the run game, as well). Plus, he would play a big part in helping Mitch Trubisky adjust to the NFL style of play.
With that said, it is apparent that Julio Jones would be the best hypothetical addition to the Chicago Bears roster.
Now it’s your turn. Which current player on a different team do you wish the Bears would have? Let us know in the comments.