The Chicago Bears’ wide receiver competition is heating up

darnell mooney, bears

The wide receiver position and the Chicago Bears are generally not on good speaking terms. In the last decade, the Bears only had two household names: Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The talented duo assisted the Jay Cutler era Bears, with both ranking in the top 10 in total receiving yards in the franchise’s history. After their departure, however, the Bears were left with few options at the position. It would be three seasons until the Bears found an answer to their wide receiver dilemma.

In 2019, Ryan Pace brought in former Jacksonville Jaguar Allen Robinson as one of the biggest free-agent signings of the year. Robinson, fresh off of an ACL injury, Robinson was looking to make teams pay. Ryan Pace and the Bears, fresh off of a 3-13 record, looked to give their young quarterback (Mitch Trubisky) some weapons. Pace then brought in speedy slot receiver Taylor Gabriel, a flex tight end in Michael Burton, and drafted a running back that would turn out to be game-changing in the passing game in Tariq Cohen.

Fast forward to 2021. Only Allen Robinson and Tariq Cohen remain. Draft picks like Anthony Miller in 2018, and Darnell Mooney in 2020 have established a foundation of talent at the position. Fortunately, the Bears were able to retain Allen Robinson on the franchise tag. However, with the deadline to agree on a contract extension rapidly approaching on July 17th and no negotiations occurring, it appears that this could be Allen Robinson’s last season in Chicago.



Heading into the 2021 NFL draft, the wide receiver position lacked depth on the Bears’ roster. So, a week before the draft, the Bears brought in Marquese Goodwin.  Goodwin, who opted out of the 2020 NFL season, is known for his explosive speed. In fact, Goodwin is such an explosive athlete that he performed in the 2012 Summer Olympics for Team USA in the long jump.

As of April 28th, the first night of the NFL draft, the Bears’ WR room looked like this:

Allen Robinson

Darnell Mooney

Anthony Miller

Marquese Goodwin

Javon Wims

Riley Ridley

Jester Weah

Thomas Ives

Khalil McClain

Rodney Adams

When the Bears traded up to pick star quarterback Justin Fields, it only became inevitable that the Bears look at the wide receiver position to assist their young quarterback. However, it wasn’t until the 6th round that the Bears took a wide receiver off the board – Dazz Newsome, the talented athlete out of North Carolina. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken collarbone requiring surgery but is expected to return in time for the pre-season.

A few weeks later, the Bears announced they added more speed to the position, with the addition of Damiere Byrd. Byrd has elite separation ability and complements Justin Field’s deep ball accuracy.



As rookie minicamp started, the Bears brought in Chris Lacy for a tryout. Liking what they saw, they signed him to a deal as well. Unfortunately,  Chris Lacy’s time at the Lions was relatively uneventful, and he’s little more than a depth piece.

As of June 22nd, the Bears’ WR room looked like this:

Allen Robinson

Darnell Mooney

Anthony Miller

Marquese Goodwin

Damiere Byrd

Dazz Newsome

Rodney Adams

Chris Lacy

Javon Wims

Riley Ridley

Jester Weah

Thomas Ives

Khalil McClain

Putting it all together

This WR room is much bigger than it was at the beginning of the off-season, which is good. The Bears have options. Anthony Miller was on the hot seat entering the off-season, and some still believe he sits on the bubble. With this year being a contract year for Miller, he will have to prove to the front office that he deserves an extension. I’m convinced he will get what he wants.

The Bears currently have thirteen wide receivers on the roster, and teams will typically carry six into the season. Meaning seven of these names will no longer be Chicago Bears when September rolls around.

Realistically, the Bears didn’t bring Marquese Goodwin and Damiere Byrd in without expecting them to be on the full 53-man roster. I also don’t see how Jester Weah or Riley Ridley out talent them onto the roster.

For those familiar, I already think the connection between Fields and Robinson will set the league ablaze. But I also think that Anthony Miller will take the next step into his progression and that Damiere Byrd will have a breakout season with Fields arm talent.

Now we are ways away from the 53-man roster deadline, but I’m comfortable in sharing my projected roster after the Pre-season ends.

My Projected WR Room as of August 31st

  1. Allen Robinson
  2. Darnell Mooney
  3. Anthony Miller
  4. Dameire Byrd
  5. Marquese Goodwin
  6. Dazz Newsome

But what are your thoughts? Who gets cut? Who’s the #3? Let me know.