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Chicago Bears 2022 Draft Sleepers: Wide Receiver Edition

Chicago Sports News

New GM Ryan Poles has said from the beginning that the offensive line will be his primary focus for the Chicago Bears. This isn’t a bad thing. Giving Justin Fields more protection absolutely should be a top priority. That said, a quarterback is only as good as his arsenal of weapons. The Bears are lacking just as much in that department as their blocking—an ongoing trend for this organization.

Darnell Mooney had over 1,000 yards in 2021. This was the lone highlight of the group. Allen Robinson finished with a career-low 410 yards and is a free agent. The same goes for Marquise Goodwin and Damiere Byrd. That means three of the top four receivers on the roster could be gone by the end of March. This would make drafting one all but inevitable for Poles.

The problem is if he wants to stay focused on the line, he’ll have to wait until the later rounds to address the issue. This means he’ll need a bit of luck finding one. Not a challenge he would fear. During his time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Poles helped uncover overlooked talented like Chris Conley and Tyreek Hills. Here are a few sleeper prospects that should fit the new GM’s likes.

Chicago Bears can find lots of value at wide receiver

Romeo Doubs (Nevada)

With the emphasis on speed moving forward, the Bears are likely to be drawn to Doubs. Nevada made sure to stockpile fast weapons for their strong-armed QB, Carson Strong. He was the best of the bunch. Across 20 games during the past two seasons, Doubs collected 2,111 yards, receiving 20 touchdowns.

Ridiculously excited for Romeo Doubs’ career in the #nfl pic.twitter.com/nye9jWkTFC

— Zack Laningham (@zacklaningham) December 8, 2021

At 6’2, he presents good size for the position and couples that with great speed and acceleration. Not only can he beat defenders down the field, but he’s equally dangerous after the catch hence why he is also a capable punt returner. The lingering questions are a limited route tree and inconsistent hands that plagued him before 2021.

Charleston Rambo (Miami)

A young man who scratched and clawed for opportunities in Oklahoma but never really got them. So he bet on himself by transferring to Miami in 2021 and set a program record with 79 catches for 1,172 yards and seven touchdowns. This helped to showcase how competitive Rambo is. Something that often shows up in his effort as a blocker too. The Chicago Bears have said they want more toughness.

He’s got solid speed mixed with sharp route-running ability. There are no struggles at finding open spaces and tracking the football. The big concerns are the drop issues he suffered at Oklahoma and his slender 185 lbs frame. Some worry that he lacks the necessary strength to handle more physical defensive backs in the NFL.

Go up and get it Kaylon Geiger ✈️✈️@TexasTechFB pic.twitter.com/3718P5tBj5

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 27, 2021

Kaylon Geiger (Texas Tech)

One of those receivers that can’t be summed up in his production. Geiger’s numbers are modest compared to others in the draft, with just 2,175 yards and nine touchdowns across three seasons. Yet upon closer examination, it becomes apparent he wasn’t the problem. More often, it was highly questionable quarterback situations that held him down.

In truth, Geiger is a baller. His quickness and route-running skills make him an absolute menace out of the slot. He finds different ways to get open and is an equal nuisance after the catch, rarely going down on the first tackle attempt. If teams can look past his modest 5’10 size, they’ll end up with somebody destined to be a much better pro. Something the Chicago Bears already saw happen with Mooney.

Reggie Roberson Jr. (SMU)

He wasn’t used in many different ways in college but what SMU did use him for Roberson did extremely well. The Mustangs’ 6’0 receiver was a consistent vertical threat across all four seasons with 2,704 yards and 23 touchdowns. If opponents game him any room to run, they would soon regret it as Roberson gobbled up soft coverages with ease.

Getting the ball in his hands was never a bad thing, as he found ways to make things happen after the catch. As with many overlooked receivers though, he has questions about his limited prowess as a route-runner (which isn’t really his fault). Not to mention questions about his overall lack of an alpha mentality. Something he’ll have to answer going into the draft.

Some of best releases have a skate or glide to them. Filthy footwork here by Rutgers WR Bo Melton. @getbusy__bo is one of most underrated playmakers in 2022 draft.#BestoftheBest #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/dV7FBupGtt

— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 17, 2022

Bo Melton (Rutgers)

Rutgers has never been a program known for producing high-end offensive talent in the NFL, but that shouldn’t overshadow Melton. While his production never wowed (failed to top 700 yards in any of his four seasons), the tape tells a different story. His stop-start suddenness mixed with good quickness and speed can make for a lethal combination.

Even better, he is perhaps at his most dangerous after the catch. Despite only being 5’10, he runs with considerable strength and balance in his lower half. This looks and feels like a player held down not by his own limitations but by the lack of creativity in the offense he played in. A more imaginative coach in the NFL will recognize his potential.

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