Riley Ridley landed in a good spot with the Bears.
His head coach is an offensive-thinker who prioritizes getting the ball in the hands of playmakers in quick and efficient ways. Teaming Matt Nagy’s concepts and Ridley’s skill set should mesh well with quarterback Mitch Trubisky going forward. In fact, Ridley already knows how much his biggest strength can be an asset to the Bears because his brother Calvin (widely believed to be a Bears target in the 2018 NFL Draft) gave him the scoop.
“My brother really prides himself on running routes,” Ridley said, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website. “He takes that and gives it to me and just lets me know that running routes can really help you as a receiver. It helps you gain separation and makes the catches easier. You’re more open. It makes your quarterback gain more trust in you.”
Trubisky will have no shortage of options to throw to in 2018. Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller sit atop the receivers depth chart, Tarik Cohen catches passes out of the backfield, in the slot, and anywhere else he can legally line up, and Trey Burton works the middle of the field with efficiency. But there is always room for more in Matt Nagy’s offense, and you can figure that precise route-running and reliable hands will get Ridley in the circle of trust.
And if all else fails, Ridley can fall back on the teachings of Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens and six-time Pro Bowl wideout Chad Ochocinco:
T.O. and Ochocinco are arguably the most polarizing receivers in league history, mostly due to the sideshow antics that were on display during their playing days. HOWEVER, there is no denying their skill or production. So no matter how you feel about each player on a personal level, Ridley was wise to train before the draft with a pair of players who know what it takes to get it done at the next level. That’s next-level thinking, if you ask me.
The Bears didn’t have a need at receiver when they entered draft weekend. But because GM Ryan Pace stayed true to his board, the team selected Georgia receiver Riley Ridley in the fourth round. Since then, the pick has been praised as one of the best value-selections of the draft and a move that could pay off over the long haul for an offense that still has some growing to do.