2020 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney

Adam Hoge
NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears needed more speed at wide receiver, and they are certainly getting it with Tulane's Darnell Mooney, who they traded up to grab at No. 173 in the fifth round. A four-year starter at Tulane, Mooney has the ability to blow the top off of defenses, and he could get on the field quickly in Matt Nagy's offense. There are obvious comparisions to former Bears wideout Taylor Gabriel, who Mooney will essentially replace in the system.

The Bears traded their two sixth-round picks to secure the rights to Mooney.

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Strengths: Speed and explosiveness. Home run hitter. 4.38 40-yard dash. Tracks the ball very well in the air and makes plays after the catch. Mooney can go up and get the ball despite his limited size, which he showed against Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, who was drafted No. 30 overall by the Miami Dolphins. If Mooney puts it all together, he can be a big weapon in the NFL. Team captain as a senior. Severely under-recruited out of high school, he's used to proving doubters wrong.

Weaknesses: At 5-foot-10 1/8, 176 pounds, Mooney's frame is not impressive. Play strength will need to improve, and he'll have to show that he can separate against press coverage at the next level. Can he hold up physically in the NFL? Drops were an issue throughout his college career.

The tape: 

Ryan Pace's take: "This guy just has legit speed. You know, he ran that 4.3 speed at the combine (4.38). Beyond that speed, his route quickness stands out, just his ability to separate stands out. He stepped up and played well in some pretty big games. This is a player where our coaches have excellent vision for Mooney and how he can help our offense and how we're going to use him."

The quote: "Just know that as soon as I get in, I'm going to make a lot of noise," Mooney told reporters Saturday.

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2020 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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