Bears’ skills position group makes SI’s top 15 list originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Bears offense has gotten better this offseason.
Mainly because general manager Ryan Poles traded away the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers, and got a No. 1 wide receiver in return, DJ Moore. He also got a haul of draft picks.
Poles also added former Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan, on top of running backs D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer.
But the headline is Moore and what his addition will do for Justin Fields‘ evolution as a passer. The Bears were already a solid running team, thanks in large part because of Fields’ legs.
And while Bears fans are excited, where does Chicago’s skill position groups rank about the rest of the league?
According to Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated, 14th out of 32 teams.
“[Moore’s] ability to get open, according to FiveThirtyEight, was rated on the same level as Cooper Kupp a year ago and, over the past two years, just a hair below Justin Jefferson,” Orr wrote. “Mooney, too, is great in space and should be a more heavily utilized security blanket once Justin Fields develops some more comfort in the offense and can start punishing defenses on timing routes.
“I also think that the Bears will be able to utilize Claypool’s linear speed more as a special-project type receiver than a legitimate No. 2, now that Moore is there to carry the burden of a defense-setter. “
It’s actually a dip from something Orr previously wrote about the Bears.
“Last week, while writing about the Bears’ offseason, I said GM Ryan Poles had assembled one of the 10 best skill-position groups in the NFL,” Orr said. “Danny Parkins, who hosts the afternoon drive show on Chicago’s 670 The Score, had me on to talk about the piece and, because he’s one of the best in the business, he challenged me on my assertion.”
Either way, the Bears’ offensive weapons got better.
The question is can the Bears properly utilize their weapons? Can the offensive line keep Fields upright long enough that he can get a pass off to the receivers.
The Bears haven’t done much in free agency to upgrade the offensive line, short of adding guard Nate Davis. There is still a lot of free agency to play out and more players potentially coming on the market as cap casualties.
And the Bears still have a lot of money to spend.
Then comes the NFL Draft, the Bears own the No. 9 pick and four in the first 64 picks.