The Chicago Bears offense is going to be better in 2023; that's a given considering all the upgrades they made this offseason, but how good can the offense be if Chase Claypool is locked in and has a career year?
In his first two years in the NFL, he averaged 61 receptions and 867 receiving yards, but last season between Pittsburgh and Chicago, he only had 46 catches and 451 yards. The talent is clearly there, and heading into his contract year, the 25-year-old needs to put it all together.
So what are you expecting from Chase Claypool in 2023?
Here's what we had to say.
Erik Duerrwaechter - A hell of a lot more than what we witnessed in 2022. I still have optimism he will break through and have a fairly solid season with DJ Moore as the undisputed alpha within the receiving corps. We've seen Chase Claypool proving himself capable of winning matchups against single-manned coverages throughout his time at Pittsburgh. I think a reasonable stat line for him is 55 recs for 850 yards and 6 TDs. That being said, the beginning of his 2023 offseason has been incredibly annoying to watch. He's got to step up in a major way if he's seeking any hefty contract offers as he's preparing to enter free agency.
Bill Zimmerman - I'm not expecting much. I think both Moore and Mooney easily out-produce him, and I expect his production to be far closer to Tyler Scott's than the top two.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - Claypool has all the tools to be a top-notch weapon in the NFL, but he fell out of favor in Pittsburgh, and that franchise has a good track record regarding knowing when to move on from a player. I expect him to start at the X, but I see him falling behind Moore, Mooney, and Kmet in targets. It's now or never for him, and he must realize how much is riding on this season.
Jeff Berckes - I expect some monster plays, a few disappointing drops, but an overall solid WR3 season. Contrary to what some might think, I believe he's in a good position with a clear alpha in DJ Moore ahead of him to take the pressure off and a complementary receiver in Mooney to let Chase shine. If it doesn't work, then so be it, but he certainly has a fair and clear path to be a useful player.
Mason West - The problem for Chase is now there are a lot of mouths to feed. Eberflus and Getsy both eluded to this being a heavy run offense (for modern 2023). So you have Justin, who is going to run. You have KDR (Khalil, D'onte, and Roschon) who are going to get carries. THEN you have DJ Moore, who will be most of the passing offense, followed by Mooney and, oh wait, two very capable pass-catching TEs in Kmet and Tonyan. This is a good problem to have, of course. With all that being said, if he can score 6-8 TDS as a red zone threat (he scored nine as a rookie), I will be happy.
Ken Mitchell - Pain. (Insert Mr. T meme here)
Sam Householder - Not much, to be honest. I've been let down by so many receivers over the years I'm dropping my expectations very low, so I'll be pleasantly surprised by anything. I think a 45/450/3 season is what I'm expecting, and Ryan Poles will wash his hands of the deal by letting him walk next offseason, and we move on. No GM bats 1.000, and this is a move we'll look back on as a swing and a miss that cost the team more in the short term than the long term.
Taylor Doll - I am expecting a big leap from Claypool. I truly believe that the timing of everything last season really screwed him up, coming in and learning a difficult playbook in an offense that wasn't built to pass the ball anyways, and then three games later Mooney goes down. I'm not saying he is a #1 guy, but I expect him to push Mooney a bit for that 2 and be a solid 3.
Now it's your turn; What are you expecting from Chase Claypool in 2023?