You would be hard-pressed to find a position group that improved more from 2017 to 2018 than the Chicago Bears’ wide receivers. And yet, there is still room for improvement for this position group – especially if the goal is to help quarterback Mitch Trubisky take another step forward after a solid second-year leap.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox takes a shot at predicting where some of the most notable free agent receivers will end up after the dust settles this offseason and envisions Chris Conley landing in Chicago on a one-year deal. Sure, the Bears aren’t in the market to shop for a top-shelf target, so a one-year “prove it” type of deal figures to be something the team explores in free agency. And perhaps someone with Conley’s upside, knowledge of the team’s offensive system, and familiarity with Head Coach Matt Nagy could fit the bill.
Conley was a third-round pick by the Chiefs in 2015, but has been unable to reach his potential despite being put in a prime position to be the team’s No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in Andy Reid’s pass-catcher friendly offense in 2016 and 2017. The University of Georgia product checks in at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds and is coming off a season in which he caught 32 passes for 334 yards. Conley scored just five touchdowns last season, but the combination of size, speed, and nose for the end zone makes him an ideal buy-low possibility for the right team. And since Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller each missed time with injuries last season, the Bears could stand to add a depth piece with starting-caliber upside.
With Joshua Bellamy and Kevin White headed into unrestricted free agency, an opportunity to improve the back end of this part of the depth chart could present itself this offseason. And unlike previous years when wide receiver was a need at the top of GM Ryan Pace’s shopping list, the Bears aren’t desperate to make a signing to bolster the position group. Instead, the additions of Robinson, Gabriel, and Miller has Chicago in a place where it can be choosy with who it adds to the room.