The Bears have Allen Robinson as their franchise wideout (for now), but you'd expect there to be room for a quality No. 2. That will be Darnell Mooney, who the team has talked up in the offseason and who zoomed past Anthony Miller for that role a year ago. He's even more locked in after Miller was traded to Houston over the weekend.
But the Bears probably won't have a great passing game. It will either be Andy Dalton or Justin Fields at quarterback, so a veteran journeyman or green rookie. Matt Nagy came over from working under Andy Reid in Kansas City, but it hasn't resulted in an above-average passing game. The Bears haven't ranked in the top 20 in passing offense since 2016.
They haven't had a high quality No. 2 wideout in even longer. In Robinson, Chicago has had a strong No. 1 the last two seasons. But a strong No. 2? You have to go back to 2014 to find someone in the discussion.
That year, when the Bears had Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, was Chicago's last with two top-40 wideouts. They also did it in 2013 with the same duo. In the table below, showing Chicago's top 2 wideouts from the last 10 years, those No. 2s who ranked in the top 40 are in bold. In the other eight seasons, their best No. 2 wide receiver ranked 41st at the position -- Taylor Gabriel in 2018. That's the history that Mooney will need to buck this year.
|CHICAGO'S NO. 1 AND NO. 2 WIDEOUTS, 2011-2020|
Nobody will need to select Mooney in the top 40 at the position, and if you imagine a 12-team league where people start either 3 or 4 wide receivers, sneaking into even the top 45 might be enough to get him into lineups some weeks.
But no reason to get too excited about Mooney, I don't think. Barring Dalton or Fields great exceeding passing expectations, or Robinson getting hurt, will be tough for him to be a significant player.