We asked the Windy City Gridiron staffers to answer a series of questions for a pre-season roundtable about the Chicago Bears’ 2022 position groups. Are they better, worse, or a push from the groups they had for the 2021 season?
We took all our answers one position at a time, and we’ll roll them out all week. Let us know your thoughts about the wide receiver position in the comment section below. But before you do, check out what we had to say here.
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Aaron Leming: I expect Darnell Mooney to take another step forward but outside of him, who else is better than last year? Replacing Allen Robinson (even at his worst) with Byron Pringle isn’t an upgrade in any world. At least on paper. The big goal here has to be that someone like Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, or N’Keal Harry breaks out and becomes a long-term piece for this team.
ECD: Until this bunch goes out on the field and proves itself, on paper, it’s a significant drop-off from a year ago. It’s also likely Ryan Poles will add another player soon. There’s upside to this young and fast group, just no proven options aside from Darnell Mooney. The key to this group will be how quickly Velus Jones Jr. can develop.
Josh Sunderbruch: Worse? I wasn’t Allen Robinson’s biggest fan, but independent of scheme I have to think he was better than Pringle and company.
Jack Salo: They could have signed a stud. They could have traded for a stud. They probably could have traded into the first round and drafted a stud. Velus Jones Jr. can be great, but he’ll likely take time to develop, so it probably won’t show in 2022. Mooney is solid, but nothing more yet. The rest of the room is castoffs.
Peter Borkowski: The overall depth doesn’t actually feel like that much of a drop-off from last season. Or rather, it didn’t before the injuries to Bryon Pringle and N’Keal Harry. So between those two missing time and the loss of Allen Robinson II to free agency, this group looks to be among the NFL’s worst. To be fair though, Robinson wasn’t much of a factor on the team last year, so maybe his absence won’t be as noticeable as one would think when a player of his talent departs. Darnell Mooney is still good, and maybe a youngster breaks out, or Ryan Poles adds someone from free agency, but it’s doubtful either of those things significantly changes the quality of the corps.
Sam Householder: Mooney might be better, probably at least the same, but the rest of the depth is not there. No one is up to Allen Robinson’s par. Overall, this group leaves a lot to be desired.
Lester Wiltfong: The 2021 version of Allen Robinson was not the best version of him, so Chicago revamping the entire receiving corps (minus Mooney) is a positive. Out are a seemingly disinterested A-Rob, Demiere Byrd, and Marquise Goodwin, and while I think there’s potential in the new group, I can’t call them better until I see them in action. I have high hopes for their use in the Luke Getsy offense to bring out the best in them.
We asked about the wide outs on Twitter, and here’s how that poll went.