Here is the deal. Mitchell Trubisky exceeded expectations last season. You will hear otherwise from those who drooled over Deshaun Watson, for obvious reasons. However, in the process of praising Watson, these football “aficionados” have tried to dismiss Trubisky, and slam Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace in the process. Did the Bears have to trade up one slot to get Trubisky? Most likely no, but they did, however, get their quarterback of the future.
Trubisky’s stats were the following: 2,193 yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 77.5 quarterback rating. Considering all of the obstacles Trubisky had to work through in his rookie season, his numbers are not good, but they are not bad either. His rookie season was hindered by bad play calling by then-offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, a receiving corps that had Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright as their top receivers, and being rushed in since Mike Glennon was awful in his time starting. In comes Matt Nagy, the innovative new Bears head coach, who comes from the Kansas City Chiefs, and the coveted Andy Reid coaching tree. With the new regime in place, the coaching staff and the front office will try to get Trubisky his much-needed help.
Retooling the Chicago Bears Receiving Corps for Mitchell Trubisky
The Bears have quite the dilemma on their hands come draft time. Calvin Ridley from Alabama is the top-rated receiver in this year’s draft class, but are they a shoe-in to draft him? With a can’t miss guard like Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson most likely on the board, or even the high ceiling of Virginia Tech’s linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, they can technically not go wrong with any pick they make. One thing is for sure. The receiver position will most likely be addressed through the draft. The second round is looking good for the Bears in the receiver department, as most mock drafts have Ridley, SMU’s Courtland Sutton, and possibly Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk going off the board in the first round. This leaves the likes of James Washington (Oklahoma St), Equanimeous St. Brown (Norte Dame), or Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma St).
One thing we saw with Nagy’s offense in Kansas City was a lot of quickness. The Chiefs did not have a big-bodied receiver of the Julio Jones variety, but they did have Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson. Two guys that are not exactly big in stature, but were big playmakers. With that said, Washington fits the mold for the Nagy offense for the Bears. He’s only 5’10” but can create separation from defenders while having the moves of a running back. The biggest plus for Washington is his ability to play both the slot and on the outside. Unless one of the three previously mentioned names ends up falling in the first round, Washington should be the guy for Chicago.
What About Free Agency?
Yes, what about free agency? Well, this wide receiver class can be described as above average at best. With Jarvis Landry being franchise tagged, the top receiver in the free agent class is Allen Robinson. Now, this does not say much considering Robinson is coming off an ACL tear, but that has absolutely nothing to do with his talent. A lot of the chatter is about whether the Bears should target Robinson or Sammy Watkins, but Robinson is the better bet. Yes, ACL tears are something to be afraid of, but Robinson’s talent is too much to pass up. Watkins is undoubtedly electric, but can he be counted on to be consistent? Probably not. Either would be great, but if bigger upside is the deciding factor, Robinson should play for the Bears next season.
There is still more work to do. The Bears still have to decide on whether they will match any offer for the returning Cameron Meredith. Also, will they bring back both Kendall Wright and Dontrelle Inman? Either way, they will be in good shape with whomever they bring back. One name on the free agent market that the Bears should definitely target is the aforementioned Wilson. He would be familiar with the Bears offense since his former offensive coordinator Nagy would be calling the plays. Is he a game-changing signing? Maybe not, if you are going off name value. However, Wilson can solidly run routes and has a pair of reliable hands. Wilson would be a huge signing for Trubisky and the Bears, as they will be getting a reliable target.
To wrap up, the Bears receiving corps should consist of the following: Robinson, Wright, Washington, Meredith, and White. On paper, this is a very solid receiving corps. It’s a slew of playmakers that even includes a guy that was drafted seventh overall in 2015 but has yet to peak. Having White finally overcome his injury issues would be the absolute best scenario for the Bears. Regardless of who the Bears sign at receiver, it is undoubtedly a priority.