The journey continues…
This is probably the weakest position on the roster right now.
Eddie Jackson clearly regressed last season, though that could be as much to do with scheme with a coordinator who was hell bent on using him like a player he isn’t. The Bears have banked on Jackson being good enough to make whoever is next to him useful for the last two seasons — but that didn’t work last year.
The Bears could add a minimum-level free agent like they did in 2019 with HaHa Clinton-Dix and 2020 with Tashaun Gipson, but there might also be value in spending an actual asset to getting Jackson a terrific running mate.
The only good option in the first round appears to be Trevon Moehrig from TCU, widely considered a top-25 player. They could also look at Jevon Holland or Andre Cisco in the second or third rounds.
It could be interesting to see what kind of player the Bears want next to Jackson. They have prioritized having interchangeable safeties, but it’s inarguable that they miss the physical presence Adrian Amos provided in 2018, even if he lacked in coverage. With both cornerback and safety, it’s worth wondering if the Bears are going to try kicking the can down the road for a year in order to try to improve the offense.
Reports that the Bears have tried to trade Anthony Miller and sign Kenny Golladay make this an interesting position.
We also have no idea what is going to happen with Allen Robinson beyond 2021, but this draft could tell us. If they spend the 20th pick on the position, you can bet that they don’t see Robinson on the team beyond this coming season.
The only certainty on the roster seems to be 2020 fifth-round rookie Darnell Mooney, who the team seems to love with good reason. Miller is a good enough third wide receiver, though it seems the team is ready to move on. Javon Wims has never produced beyond the preseason and Riley Ridley can’t seem to find the field — though he is productive when he does.
The Bears can bandage the position with Tarik Cohen returning and playing multiple tight ends as Jimmy Graham wasn’t released as many assumed he would be, even after a productive 2020 season.
But the Bears need more speed and playmakers. The team has tried to band-aid offensive positions for far too long and it’s time to go out and get the kind of players who can make an average quarterback look good. Or good enough, anyway.
The Bears could have options with the type of wide receiver they want.
They could grab a lengthy speedster like Tarrace Marshall Jr. from LSU, a possession receiver who has been compared to Robinson in Rashod Bateman or swing big at the Zebra position that Miller was supposed to fill with players like Kadrius Toney or Elijah Moore.
There is also a world in which the Bears draft a wide receiver at 20 simply because it’s a great player who dropped. There is a world in which the top five quarterbacks, and four offensive tackles and cornerbacks all go inside the top 20. Add in Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, two of the top three wide receivers, a couple of pass rushers and a couple linebackers and the Bears could be looking at DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle. Considering CeeDee Lamb went 17th last year, in a three-quarterback draft, it isn’t all that crazy.
The 2021 class is considered by many to be equal to or better than the 2020 class that allowed a talent like Mooney to slip to the fifth round. The Bears certainly could wait and grab the dynamic Rondale Moore of Purdue in the second round or a deep threat like North Carolina’s Dyami Brown in the third.
Whether Robinson is in the team’s long-term plans or not, they need another playmaker. Where they choose the wide receiver could tell us what we need to know about Robinson.