2020 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney

2020 NFL Draft Analysis: Bears select Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney

The Bears needed more speed at wide receiver, and they are certainly getting it with Tulane's Darnell Mooney, who they traded up to grab at No. 173 in the fifth round. A four-year starter at Tulane, Mooney has the ability to blow the top off of defenses, and he could get on the field quickly in Matt Nagy’s offense. There are obvious comparisions to former Bears wideout Taylor Gabriel, who Mooney will essentially replace in the system.

The Bears traded their two sixth-round picks to secure the rights to Mooney.

RELATED: 2020 NFL Draft Day 3: Rounds 4-7, picks 107-255

Strengths: Speed and explosiveness. Home run hitter. 4.38 40-yard dash. Tracks the ball very well in the air and makes plays after the catch. Mooney can go up and get the ball despite his limited size, which he showed against Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, who was drafted No. 30 overall by the Miami Dolphins. If Mooney puts it all together, he can be a big weapon in the NFL. Team captain as a senior. Severely under-recruited out of high school, he's used to proving doubters wrong.

Weaknesses: At 5-foot-10 1/8, 176 pounds, Mooney’s frame is not impressive. Play strength will need to improve, and he’ll have to show that he can separate against press coverage at the next level. Can he hold up physically in the NFL? Drops were an issue throughout his college career.

The tape: 

Ryan Pace's take: "This guy just has legit speed. You know, he ran that 4.3 speed at the combine (4.38). Beyond that speed, his route quickness stands out, just his ability to separate stands out. He stepped up and played well in some pretty big games. This is a player where our coaches have excellent vision for Mooney and how he can help our offense and how we're going to use him."

The quote: "Just know that as soon as I get in, I'm going to make a lot of noise," Mooney told reporters Saturday.

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Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

Madden 21 rating leaks: Chicago Bears Top-10 overall rated players

As Madden 21 ratings continue to leak out, one site claims to have gotten a hold of the Top-10 players for each team. According to Madden School, a website that says they’ve served the Madden community for 13 years, the Bears only have one player rated over 90-- Khalil Mack at 97. That’s one point lower than where Mack finished the season on Madden 20.

Here’s the full list for the Bears:

Khalil Mack: 97 overall

Eddie Jackson: 89 overall

Allen Robinson: 89 overall

Akiem Hicks: 88 overall

Kyle Fuller: 85 overall

Eddie Goldman: 84 overall

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Roquan Smith: 83 overall

Robert Quinn: 82 overall

Charles Leno Jr.: 81 overall

Cody Whitehair: 81 overall

It’s important to note that none of these numbers came with picture or video evidence from early copies of the game.

Unsurprisingly, only one offensive skill player cracked the Top-10 for the Bears, Allen Robinson. Equally unsurprising is the fact that seven of the Top-10 are on defense.

EA Sports began releasing the official Madden 21 ratings on Monday, and will continue to do so through Friday.

RELATED: Madden 21 rating leaks: Another source says Khalil Mack may have lost elite 99-overall status


Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Here's where Maurice Jones-Drew ranks David Montgomery among NFL running backs

Former NFL running back and current NFL Network personality, Maurice Jones-Drew, published his ranking of the top-32 running backs in the NFL on Monday and, of course, the Bears didn't get much love. To be more specific, David Montgomery was downright disrespected.

To be fair, MJD's assessment (or ranking) of Montgomery wasn't entirely based on No. 32's talent. Instead, it appears the Bears' offense -- and Matt Nagy -- is why Jones-Drew isn't high on the former Iowa State star.

Montgomery checked-in at No. 27 on MJD's list.

Montgomery's success depends on whether or not Matt Nagy wants to run the ball. They abandoned the run game week after week in 2019, and it showed in the team's 8-8 record. I'm expecting Montgomery to get the bulk of the carries and Tarik Cohen to continue to be frequently used in certain packages. The second-year back can do a little bit of everything, but needs Nagy to commit to running the rock.

It's hard to tell whether or not MJD believes Montgomery has the talent to be a top-10 running back in the NFL. He describes him as a player who can do 'a little bit of everything,' but doesn't necessarily suggest he can do any one thing really well. There are a lot of running backs in the NFL who fit that description, and they're normally playing backup to starter with a stronger skill set.

Running backs who were ranked in the same range as Montgomery included James Conner (Steelers, No. 25) and Sony Michel (Patriots, No. 26). Detroit's Kerryon Johnson was 28th.

Whether you take MJD's list seriously or put any weight into it at all is your call. But keep this in mind: he said he'd rank himself similarly to Adrian Peterson (23rd) if he decided to come out of retirement in 2020. 

As for Montgomery, it's fair to question his long-term outlook considering the narrative around the running back position. It isn't all that difficult to find a quality starter, and with next offseason presenting a potentially historic class of available running backs, Montgomery is certainly on the hot seat. He ran for just 889 yards as a rookie in 2019.

Preseason rankings are fun exercises to evaluate the landscape of the league, but they're also extremely volatile. Montgomery can quickly become one of the most respected running backs in the NFL if he gets off to a hot start early in the 2020 season.