One of the less talked about Chicago Bears heading into training camp this season has been wide receiver, Javon Wims.
Wims was the most impressive rookies during the pre-season last year and landed a spot on the 53-man roster. Although he impressed, he only appeared in four games for the Bears and got the majority of his playing time in the season finale in Minnesota.
Heading into his second year in the league, Wims provides something most Bears wide receivers lacked last season. He is the biggest wide receiver on the roster at 6-foot-4, 215-pounds making his size a valuable asset. Before the season finale, the two biggest Bears receivers that saw playing time were Allen Robinson and Kevin White. Robinson is the team’s number one wide receiver while White was rarely used and is now no longer with the team.
Wims, the team’s seventh-round draft pick in 2018, made a name for himself in the Hall of Fame game against Baltimore catching seven passes for 89 yards. In the team’s fourth preseason game, he caught four passes four for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. He demonstrated an ability to get consistently open and use his size to win contested throws.
Wims saw little regular-season action due to his rookie inexperience and that he couldn’t provide special teams depth appearing in just four games. In the season finale in Minnesota, he received extended playing time with Robinson sidelined by injury. He caught four passes for 32 yards with two of his catches helping to convert third downs in the second half.
It was an important outing given the circumstance that the Vikings were in. The Vikings pass defense was third in the league heading into the game and needed to win to get into the playoffs. Wims found a way to get open and was crisp in his route running.
This past offseason the Bears did little to add depth to the wide receiver position. They lost White and Josh Bellamy to free agency, added receiver Cordarelle Patterson for his big play-ability, and drafted receiver Riley Ridley from Georgia.
Ridley is expected to see little playing time while Patterson will be the team’s returner/jack-of-all-trades player on offense. Wims could be a reliable possession receiver for the Bears in 2019.
Early through this season’s camp, Wims has been drawing positive attention for his quality play.
The Bears will need him to play outside which will allow Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel to play in the slot. Both players are better suited for their slot due to their speed and quickness. Gabriel and Miller did flash lining up outside last season but struggled to stay consistent due to their size.
Wims will see a lot of playing time in the preseason, and unlike last year, should see more playing time with the second-stringers rather than the third-stringers. If Wims can continue to prove himself as a receiver, he could be a big contributor in 2019.