Darnell Mooney heads into third NFL season as the Bears #1 target
Heading into the 2022 NFL Season, the Chicago Bears offense has some major red flags. You’ve got the offensive line, which according to multiple reports has been struggling in the early days of camp. You have a young second year QB who had a rough rookie season, and a very young wide receiver core that is questionable at best.
However, one of the most captivating headlines this year for the Bears is the development of the speedster Darnell Mooney. Apparently the Tulane alum has been looking even more elusive early on in training camp.
With a new head coach and offensive coordinator, look for Chicago to implement Mooney into the offense even more than before. With the amazing breakaway speed he has, combined with the big play potential, Coach Eberflus has some intriguing options.
— NFL Football Everything (@nflfootballeve1) July 29, 2022
My God! Darnell Mooney is something else with his route running. Drawing ooooooo’s and aaaaaaaa’s from the crowd each time.
— Will DeWitt (@Wi11DeWitt) August 3, 2022
With Allen Robinson officially out of the mix, the door for Mooney to have a huge statistical year is open. Over the course if his first two NFL seasons, Darnell racked up 142 receptions, 1686 yards, and 8 touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown in a breakout game against Pittsburgh. These stats were also accumulated in one of the worst offenses in the league, ran by Matt Nagy and company.
Now with limited wideouts to work with, Fields will most likely lean towards his favorite target. The additions of Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry, and Velus Jones Jr. will almost certainly not impact the amount of looks Mooney gets. Bears fans also hope tight end Cole Kmet can get more involved, as he failed to get in the end zone last year.
Last season, Darnell Mooney showed a massive jump from his rookie campaign. He saw 40 more targets, gained over 400 more yards, and proved his big play ability by leading the bears in catches over 20 yards. (14) The only real downfall with his game has been the dropping issue, as he did rank fourth amongst wide outs in that category during 2021.
Darnell Mooney led Chicago with 14 catches of 20+ yards in 2021.
The Bears don’t have much else at WR, and Mooney’s big play ability is one to watch. Be prepared for Mooney props this fall, especially with the early Justin Fields buzz we’re getting pic.twitter.com/4XAOuUOjXK
— GriffyBets (@griffybets) July 31, 2022
Darnell Mooney says difference is “Night and Day”
While appearing on a podcast held by Barstool Chicago, Red Line Radio, Mooney claims the the organization has had a shift in focus from last year to now. It seems the Matt Eberflus effect has been mostly positive so far.
“It’s night and day, man,” Mooney said on the podcast about Bears practices now. “It’s smooth. I mean everything. Everybody knows where to go, when to do something, what’s the expectation, what’s the standard. You know what you’re getting out of the next day. It’s not coming in and just like, ‘uh, what we got going on?”
Who could’ve guessed Matt Nagy was so insufferable?
You can’t have a winning culture without winners at the top. The “clean house” formula that Chicago decided to follow last year might end up being one of the most important decisions in franchise history.
The addition of new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will also be beneficial, not just for Darnell Mooney but everyone involved. It seems Coach Eberflus will let Getsy run his own plays, without trying to do everything himself. He now holds the key for to the Justin Fields experiment.
If you ask me, the only way Darnell Mooney doesn’t have an amazing year is if Fields shows zero progression. You can argue he might get doubled more with AR3 gone, but I think the coaching staff will find ways to get him the rock regardless of the defense. The offensive line just needs to be decent in order for Fields to find some of his weapons. We can only hope that isn’t too much to ask.
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