The Chicago Bears are sure to select an offensive lineman and a defensive back at some point in the draft, and those were the first two positions we covered in this four-part roundtable series (links here and here). For part-three of this series I asked the this question to our WCG staff;
Which wide receiver is “your guy” in the 2022 NFL Draft that you really hope the Bears draft?
And here’s what we had to say.
Jacob Infante - I’ll be on the record for saying “my guy” is Purdue’s David Bell, but given his athletic profile, I don’t think he’s a realistic option for the Bears in Round 2. That said, I believe that Christian Watson from North Dakota State would be a perfect fit for what Luke Getsy’s system will likely require at wide receiver. Watson’s size gives him an obvious advantage on the 50-50 ball, his deep speed is remarkable for someone who’s 6-foot-4, and he has shown plenty of promise as a route-running technician, though still a work in progress in that regard. I have George Pickens rated higher on my board, but I feel that this Bears regime might like Watson just a bit better.
EJ Snyder - I’d give a lot for Chris Olave (WR, Ohio State) to become a Bear, but he will be gone long before they choose at pick 39. Christian Watson (WR, NDSU) should be available in round 2 when Chicago picks, and if he is... I think they should make him a Bear. His ability to get open on deep routes would pair incredibly well with Justin Fields’s ability to throw an accurate deep ball. His size paired with his physical blocking style (that he developed in run-first North Dakota State offense) are obvious bonuses.
This is why you get excited about Christian Watson (WR, NDSU #1); he’s got the goods.— EJ Snyder (@thedraftsmanFB) March 3, 2022
Little jab step inside, little jab outside, gets the DB to turn his back, pushes inside leverage and that’s all she wrote. Fires up the jets, tracks down the moon ball over the shoulder and pic.twitter.com/Ve7tOXjJvc
Robert Schmitz - Like EJ I’d obviously love for Chris Olave to fall to Chicago, but since I doubt that happens I’m also on the Christian Watson train — his blend of size and speed is rare and he’d be a perfect compliment to Darnell Mooney’s skillset, immediately creating a fairly diverse receiver room between him, Mooney, and Pringle. He “should” be there in the mid-2nd round, so I’d love to see Poles make this selection.
Josh Sunderbruch - Christian Watson (WR), North Dakota State University is big (6’4”, 210lbs) and explosive, and he comes from an NFL family and has a great attitude. He is rough around the edges and needs more work on fundamentals than would be true of a guy worthy of going in the first round. He’s probably the fifth or sixth best receiver in the draft. However, he can stretch a field and he can work a boundary, and he’d be a nice counterpoint to Mooney. I’ve seen him projected as WR3, and I feel like that’s fair for most teams. That would make him the second-best receiver on the Bears.
Rahul Ramachandran - Without a doubt, Christian Watson. He’s got phenomenal size at 6’5”, 208 lbs but still moves exceptionally well for his size. The explosion, quickness, acceleration, twitchiness, etc. are all off the charts. His route running requires some polish but I see enough suddenness in his cuts when he has the ball in his hands to know that he’s capable of refining it. He would also bring a physical, no-nonsense attitude to the offense, which is something we desperately need.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - I really hope the Bears draft either of Justin Fields’s former receivers from Ohio State in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. It’s highly likely both guys will be drafted by the end of the first round. But, it’s not out of the question one of the two slips into the early second round, and the Bears have a chance at a small trade up to secure their target.
George Pickens could be the ultimate consolation prize. It’s a risk to take him off such a short season following his ACL tear in the spring of 2021. Before his injury, he could have been the top ranked receiver in this class. Pickens displayed every trait you could look for in a top receiver: explosiveness, crisp route-running, magnets for hands, spatial awareness, and ruthlessness in blocking on the perimeter. These are all traits that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, a long-time receivers coach, will underline several times. He’s the ideal receiver to pair with Darnell Mooney on the outside.
Patti Curl - I’m surprised to be the first to claim Skyy Moore as my favorite receiver target for the Bears. I get that he’s not the classic deep ball prototype that many rightly want to pair with Fields, but he’s a crafty route runner, who gets open and makes plays with the ball in his hand. Young quarterbacks need reliable targets more than they need home run threats, and Skyy Moore is one of the most reliable weapons to get open at any level of the field, and the toughness to catch and control the ball through contact and more often than not continue to move the ball downfield. Of all the receivers potentially available in the second round, I think his skillset is most likely to translate to the NFL level. Like Jacob said about him in the recent episode of Bear & Balanced, “This guy’s the limit!”
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - Because I hope the Bears are able to trade back from 39 to acquire a some more picks, I’m going with a wide out that is currently projecting a bit lower on the board, Alec Pierce from Cincinnati. His game needs some refining, but he has two things you can’t teach in size (6’3”, 211) and speed (4.41 forty), and his 40.5’ vertical makes him a legit go-up-and-get-it deep threat.
With the draft such a big moment for the Bears I had to reach out for a couple members of our podcasting family, Brandon Robinson and Dannhy Meehan, to get their takes on this series too.
Brandon Robinson - Calvin Austin from Memphis is my guy at receiver. Got a chance to watch him up close and personal at the Senior Bowl and I was blown away. He makes plays at all three levels of the field, and he’s the best route runner in this year’s class with legit 4.3 speed. He would give Fields a serious downfield threat.
Danny Meehan - My likes in wide out always seem to go 1 of 2 ways. Either big, physical bodies with ability to block and high point the football, or the other end of the spectrum in my choice of Wan’Dale Robinson. Having seen time at both receiver and running back in his playing career at both Kentucky and Nebraska, Robinson showcases game-changing speed and a work ethic that shows on field. He’d be a goof hit in the slot for the Bears.
Now it’s your turn, who is “your guy” at wide receiver that you want to see the Bears draft?