Bears New-Look Unit Crowned NFL’s Best Ahead of 2024 Season

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Getty Bears general manager Ryan Poles, left, and head coach Matt Eberflus.

The Chicago Bears are far from the same team they were two years ago, or even last season, and the changes to one area of the field stick out above the rest.

That unit is the wide receiver room, where DJ Moore put up a career year in 2023. Over the past couple of months, six-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen and the NCAA’s leader in receiving yards Rome Odunze joined him via a trade and the No. 9 pick in the NFL draft, respectively.

And now, before the group has even played one snap together, there are football writers dubbing them the best collection of wideouts in the league. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report made the leap and named the Bears’ receivers tops in the NFL on Thursday, May 9.

Moore was already a 1,300-yard receiver in the league’s sixth-worst passing offense last season. … With the Bears’ decision to make a change at quarterback and select USC’s Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall, general manager Ryan Poles made sure his next signal-caller was well-equipped with the tools to succeed.

First, he traded a fourth-round pick to acquire Keenan Allen. … He’s the perfect leader for a developing offense and to serve as a reliable target for a rookie quarterback. With him and Moore both on the roster, the Bears feature the league’s only pair of wide receivers to eclipse 1,200 yards last season.

Then, the general manager chose Washington’s Rome Odunze with this year’s No. 9 overall draft pick. The 6’3′, 212-pounder might have been the third wide receiver drafted, but he could have been WR1 in multiple other classes. … Tyler Scott’s big-play potential can be thrown into the mix for good measure.

DJ Moore Had Career Highs in All Major Categories During First Season With Bears, Justin Fields as QB

Justin Fields Future Bears Rumors DJ Moore

GettyChicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore.

Just two years ago, Chicago had one of the worst groups of wideouts in the league, which may have stifled former No. 11 overall pick Justin Fields‘ progress as a passer. But Williams won’t suffer the same disadvantage.

Moore put up career-highs in receiving yards (1,364), touchdowns (8) and total catches (96) in his one year with Fields, per Pro Football Reference. Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN said flat out on several occasions that Williams will walk into the NFL a better passer on Day 1 than Fields is now.

“Williams will be an upgrade on Justin Fields as a passer from day one,” Kiper wrote following the first round of the draft. “He’s so smooth, so savvy, so talented. And he has playmakers around him.”

Keenan Allen Earned Pro Bowl Nod in 2023 Despite Injury

Keenan Allen

GettyChicago Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen.

Moore’s numbers could slide a little bit considering he has so much more help around him now. However, everyone benefits if Chicago throws the football more often and for more yards, which appears likely considering the talent upgrades at the skill positions.

Allen was a Pro Bowler in 2023, despite missing four games due to injury. It was his sixth Pro Bowl selection in the last seven years and if he remains relatively healthy, he is certain to take Chicago’s pass game to another level. Allen hauled in 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and 7 TDs last season.

Meanwhile, Odunze’s 1,640 receiving yards were tops in the FBS. Bears tight end Cole Kmet made 73 grabs for 719 yards and 6 scores last season, and newly-acquired Pro Bowl running back D’Andre Swift is a dual-threat player who has amassed 195 catches for 1,412 yards and 8 TDs during his four-year professional career.

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