Bears WR Darnell Mooney among NFL’s most underrated players

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney is coming off an impressive season where he emerged as Chicago’s top option. The former fifth-round selection recorded his first 1,000-yard season, which was made even more impressive considering the state of the Bears offense.

Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr examined every NFC team’s most underrated players, and it wasn’t a surprise to find Mooney on the list. Especially considering he’s already made an impression just two years in.

I am in a bit of a kerfuffle with Bears Twitter at the moment, over my take that Justin Fields is in trouble and should flag down an Uber for the next flight out of town before his career gets seriously damaged. That said, I can still appreciate Mooney, who thrived in one of the most broken offenses in the NFL last year. His abilities after the catch are borderline reminiscent of vintage Odell Beckham Jr., allowing him to turn vacant space into a very dangerous weapon. I’ll venture to guess that if Chicago pulls off any stunning upsets this year, it will be in games where Mooney goes off. Four of his six best games were wins in Chicago last year, including a five-catch, 125-yard performance against the Lions in which he was virtually unguardable.

Following the departure of Allen Robinson in free agency, Mooney’s the top option for Chicago, which presents its own challenges. He’ll likely be the focus of double teams, which can open up opportunities for other receivers on the roster. And Mooney’s ready to serve as a decoy to help his teammates.

“I’m ready for whatever anybody brings to me,” Mooney said, via The Gadsden Times. “I’m ready for any task, any type of defense that we’re seeing, whatever it is, anyway, I can help the team. You know, if I get double teamed, I’ll be a decoy for the team so everybody else can be open. I mean, I’m good with that. Anyway I can help win.”

Mooney is the only proven commodity in the wide receiver room, but there are some intriguing names in Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr., who figure to benefit from Mooney getting the attention.

List

Poll: More receiving yards for Bears in 2022, Byron Pringle or Velus Jones Jr.?

View 4 items

List

Notable Bears players who are 25 & under heading into 2022 season

View 15 items