Right before the trade deadline, the Bears traded a second-round pick for Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool. Ryan Poles decided with a weak free agent wide receiver class that he was going to be aggressive and get a young upside receiver.
However, the trade hasn’t necessarily worked out so far. In the 6 games he’s played with the Bears, Claypool has only 111 receiving yards, and has yet to get into the end zone. Not the start Bears fans were hoping for, but don’t panic just yet. In every game he’s played so far in a Bears uniform, Chase had under six targets. The Bears were also the number-one rushing team in the league this season, which was a reason for his low involvement.
Claypool has a solid build for a receiver. He’s 6’4, 238 pounds, and has great speed. We’ve seen the talent. He put up 800 receiving yards in 2020 and 2021, with nine touchdowns in his rookie season. Next season, he will be more involved. Justin Fields ran a lot this year, which part of it had to do with a sub-par offensive line. Once they address that, Fields and the Bears' offense will be throwing a lot more, giving Claypool more opportunities. It’s way too early to be giving up on him already.
The only question is, was spending the 33rd overall pick giving away too much? Chase Claypool has proven he can play, but not at a high level yet. The potential is there. However, the Bears are entering a crucial offseason. The pick they gave away is essentially a first-round pick.
Not to mention other receivers could end up being available. Deandre Hopkins could be on his way out, and the Bengals may be looking to get rid of Tee Higgins. We see it often with third-year quarterbacks that teams will attempt to trade for an upper-tier receiver. Justin Fields would benefit from this.
The Bears can still do that, but having that 33rd-overall pick would give them more breathing room in terms of trading one of their picks. Upper-tier receivers become available more than we think. Nobody thought last offseason that Davante Adams and AJ Brown would be getting moved. But nothing is certain, which is why Ryan Poles made the move. He saw an opportunity to get a decent receiver and did so.
We'll have to wait and see what the Bears do in terms of getting another wide receiver this off-season. Whether it's a big name or a smaller one, Chase Claypool needs to succeed this upcoming season. The Bears and Justin Fields are counting on him.