It seems like Bears fans are ready to write wide receiver Chase Claypool off as sunken cost. Darnell Mooney is a fan favorite, a dear friend of Justin Fields, and homegrown talent, but we can’t forget that this regime went out and made a trade to improve the wide receiver room by adding Claypool. That speaks volumes.
I don’t know if you caught it, but in a recent episode of the 1920 football drive, the Bears behind the scenes series, they showed a clip of their athletic testing grades. Calling it the “A – score,” the team uses their analytics department to measure statistically what they believe they see on tape. Graded 0-100, Claypool is second on the team with a score of 93.97. This means he’s one of the best on the team when you combine his size and athleticism. The Bears didn’t spend a second-round pick on a rental. Claypool is a piece they believe can be a long-term difference maker.
Fans have a bad taste in their mouth based on his performance in the last 7 games of the season. It’s necessary, however, to adjust expectations. He was traded to a new city, playing a unique role in a completely different offense, and fans wanted him to have Madden stats. Things just don’t work that way all the time. I believe Claypool will be much better with a full off-season. Fields has already mentioned, unprompted, that Claypool has made dramatic improvements noting his attitude as one of the key departments where development has occurred.
With DJ Moore arriving, the entire WR room working with their quarterback in the off-season, and continuity in the offensive scheme, Claypool may not only return to his early career form, but he could also even become something we haven’t seen yet.
Could you imagine the Bears having two 1,000+ yard receivers again? It’s been almost a decade since the last duo, but Moore and Claypool have the potential to be the first since then.