When the Bears selected Riley Ridley in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, many saw him as a potential Day 3 steal.
The Georgia wide receiver was widely expected to be a Day 2 pick and had been praised throughout online draft circles. Once the Bears took him with the No. 126 overall pick, it seemed like they had a potential contributor on their hands.
Fast forward two years, though, and Ridley finds himself battling for a roster spot.
It’s not like Ridley has had much of a chance to prove himself; he has only played in 10 games and seen 11 passes go his way. However, the question remains whether his lack of playing time stems from poor play, or if it is simply a result of misuse by the Bears’ coaching staff.
Though it may be difficult for outsiders to determine that answer completely, I recently took a look at how Ridley has performed in spurts for the Bears by his receiving reps for the 2020 season.
Check out my breakdown of one of the team’s most enigmatic players, and let us know in the comments below whether you agree with my verdict or not.
THREAD: #Bears WR Riley Ridley has solid tools but faces a tough battle for a roster spot this year.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
Has he played poorly, or has he just not gotten the chance to shine? Let’s discuss.
In watching Riley Ridley’s limited reps for the #Bears, here’s my mini scouting report:— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
✅ Reliable hands and ball skills
✅ Good feel for soft spots vs. zone
✅ Fluid and coordinated athlete
✅ Attacks blind spots well
❌ Deep speed
❌ ST value pic.twitter.com/riAgBwPKdM
IMO, Riley Ridley is a solid pass-catcher who hasn’t gotten enough of a chance to show that with the #Bears.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
He was never going to be a burner in the NFL, but he’s shown high football IQ in spurts and physicality through his stems and at the catch point. pic.twitter.com/iWzDUa9Y02
Riley Ridley’s ball skills are also pretty impressive. He does a good job of catching the ball away from his frame and adjusting himself to box out incoming defenders.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
Of his 11 targets, Ridley has caught 10. In spurts, he’s been a reliable target for the #Bears when passed to. pic.twitter.com/JToUwuLl7m
However, I’m not sure exactly what Riley Ridley brings the #Bears that other backup receivers don’t bring.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
Byrd and Goodwin have more deep speed. Newsome has special teams experience. Ridley and Wims are both physical, but Ridley doesn’t play on the boundary as much as Wims.
Ultimately, I think Riley Ridley deserves more of a shot that what he’s been getting with the #Bears. He looks the part of a solid backup WR on tape.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 29, 2021
Is he going to get that shot with Chicago, though? I’m not sure. He’ll need to prove himself in the preseason.