Though we are still a ways away from the regular season, and we have a lot of off-season work to go I’d say the starting receiver lineup is pretty locked in. Obviously Darnell Mooney is the clear cut number one guy and I’m willing to bet he’s followed by Byron Pringle as the number two and likely Velus Jones Jr. as the three. While Mooney is already making a strong case for himself as a proven WR in the league for the others it’s time to make a name for themselves. So, how do I think they’ll fare?

DARNELL MOONEY: As I just said it’s certain at this point that Mooney is the Bears number one receiver. Throughout the season he should get a lot of looks allowing him to rack up receptions and in turn yards. Last year Mooney, while technically the number two behind Allen Robinson, put up a phenomenal stat line all things considered. The young wide out was targeted 140 times bringing in 81 catches for 1,055 yards and 4 touchdowns. We all know that the Bears really had to rely on Mooney last year with the falling out between them and Robinson, but I think this year Mooney takes another step up now being the true number one. This year my stat prediction is 148 targets, 86 receptions, 1,120 yards, and 6 touchdowns.

BYRON PRINGLE: Pringle comes into his first season with the Chicago Bears after four years in Kansas City. During his time with the Chiefs Pringle was their number 4 WR largely used off the bench, however he did show ability out on the field. In the ‘21-‘22 season Pringle had a stat line of 42 receptions on 60 targets for 568 yards and 5 touchdowns. This is another instance where we have a guy moving up in the depth chart, which usually means a jump in numbers. For this season I’m predicting Byron Pringle to get 92 targets, 67 receptions, 895 yards and 5 touchdowns.

VELUS JONES JR.: Velus is the hardest to really pinpoint here. The Bears took the University of Tennessee product in the second round of this year’s draft. In his final year in college Jones had his most impressive season yet with 62 receptions for 807 yards and 7 touchdowns. Coming into the NFL, however, is an adjustment. It’s especially an adjustment for someone in Velus’s shoes who has been a special teams star only recently really taken on more of a WR role. That all said I think he has the attributes needed to do well at the next level… in time. This year I predict Velus Jones Jr. at 49 targets, 45 receptions, 610 yards, and 6 touchdowns.

While this receiving corps has gotten more than its share of hate from the media and fans alike I think there’s a lot to look forward to. We have a group of very capable guys lined up at the WR position. They may not be big names in the league but if they do well enough they can be soon.

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