Bears and a possible future without Darnell Mooney
Scott Galvin - USA Today Sports

Bears and a possible future without Darnell Mooney

by - Senior Writer -

There is no question that the Chicago Bears are a much-improved team this season, but the work still needs to be done for Ryan Poles and company. With two first-round picks in the top 10 and a legitimate shot to have the No. 1 overall selection for the second straight season, the Chicago Bears will be the center of attention all offseason regarding what they do with those picks.

Many people expect the Bears to decide between keeping Caleb Williams at No. 1 or Justin Fields at QB. There are points to be made on both sides, but Fields hasn't been the issue for the Bears this season, and you could make the case he has done more than enough to prove he is worth a franchise player type of deal. If you ask DJ Moore, he feels the same, as he doesn't think Williams, Drake Maye, or any other college QB in this year's class is better than Fields, so you have to believe the team will consider that.

If they do hold on to Fields, look for Poles to continue to address the offense, and that all starts at the WR position, with Marvin Harrison Jr being a likely draft option. Harrison Jr went to the same school Fields attended, but they didn't cross paths, so it will be interesting to see the chemistry they can build. Pair him with Moore, and the Bears would have a scary duo at the WR position that teams will have to contend with for a long time.

Adding a guy like Harrison will undoubtedly help the offense, but it may continue, as Darnell Mooney is an even bigger question mark. The former fifth-round pick out of Tulane emerged as Fields favorite target in 2021, but a rash of injuries and inconsistent play the past two seasons has made him the No. 3 option on this team. Throw in his dropped hail mary against the Browns on Sunday, and it does look like Mooney will be moving on from the Bears this offseason, opening up another WR spot.

Despite his lack of production this season, losing Mooney will hurt, but you still have guys like Tyler Scott who could fill in. You then look at the trade market for possible additions and hear the name Jahan Dotson being linked to the Bears as someone they could trade for this offseason. When you look at the Commanders, they are a team in desperate need of a reset, and it appears Ron Rivera will be gone in three weeks.

Sam Howell appears to be a legitimate starter, but apart from him and Terry Mclaurin, the Commanders offensive options are in desperate need of an influx. Dotson is one of those offensive options, but with his name popping up as a potential trade target, you have to wonder how long he will remain in DC. Chicago needs more explosive playmakers to help Fields, and if the Bears could land Dotson for a couple of Day three picks, it would give the Bears a scary duo with Moore and potentially a trio should Harrison Jr also be added to the mix.

Chicago will be in the market for a No.1 or a No. 1-A WR, whether in the draft or a trade. Dotson has No. 1 potential but would most likely be the No. 2 for this team and is a low-risk, high-reward option for the Bears. With the Commanders set to enter a massive rebuilding phase, trading a fifth-rounder for a play-making WR who still has some years left on his rookie deal is a no-brainer for Poles to make.

Taken No. 16 overall in the 2022 NFL draft, Dotson has two years remaining on his rookie deal and the option year. He comes with a four million dollar cap hit in 2024 and five million in 2025, which is next to nothing when you look at his production. Primarily the No. 2 guy behind McLaurin, Dotson had a great rookie season where he caught 35 passes for 523 yards and seven touchdowns, which was near the top of the rookie leaderboard.

With Eric Bieniemy taking over as OC this season, many people expected Dotson to take the next step as a player and emerge as the team's best offensive weapon. Instead, he hasn't formed the connection with Howell that the team was hoping for, as he has 4 4 receptions for 458 yards and four scores. He has only one 100-yard effort this season but is still on pace to surpass his rookie season stats, which is worth noting.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old is still young with plenty of football left, but no one knows how good a player he can become. Although he may not have the big games you would've expected from him at this point, Dotson is Speedy, has size, and is someone with big play ability whenever he is on the field and is a player to keep an eye on when trading talks heat up this offseason.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!