Shortly after the Bears picked Georgia Wide Receiver Riley Ridley with their 4th-round (126) pick, Bears receiver Javon Wims posted this on Twitter:https://twitter.com/Javon_Juice/status/1122189891851444224
The friends were teammates in 2016 and 2017, going 21-7 with a National Championship Game appearance during that span.
“I’ve been in touch with [Wims] ever since he was at Georgia,” Ridley told reporters on a conference call. “Javon is my guy. I love him to death. The things that he told me about Chicago is that it’s home, but it’s work. Whenever you come here you gotta be about business, you gotta be about work.”
Ridley is now the 4th UGA player taken by the Bears since 2016. He joins a group that includes Leonard Floyd (2016), Roquan Smith (2018) and Wims (2018). Chicago ended up being the only team Ridley had a Top-30 visit.
“The way they came at things, they didn’t treat it like they were all business,” he added. “They want to treat it like you’re a family when you’re in Chicago with the Bears organization. When I got there, that’s exactly how I felt. They treated me the right way. I knew people on the team: Javon Wims, Roquan Smith, Eddie Jackson, it’s amazing.”
A polished route runner who’s lauded for his hands, Ridley comes with a strong pedigree. His brother, Calvin, was a star receiver at University of Alabama before getting taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1st round (26) of last year’s draft. Calvin was sitting alongside Riley when the latter heard his name called.
“It’s extremely incredible what the feeling is in my household right now,” he said. “My brother is extremely happy. When you have an older brother that told me things and being positive and then you’re able to fulfill some of those things, it’s incredible to see a smile on his face. My mom, I mean at this point right now, just to have two boys into the NFL, it’s incredible.”
When Ridley reports to Rookie Mini-Camp next week, he’ll get his first taste of being a part of a wide receiver group that includes Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Cordarrelle Patterson and Wims. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, but after talking with Bears’ Receivers Coach Mike Furrey, Ridley knew Chicago was the right fit.
“When I went down, I had a meeting with [Furrey]. I sat down with him and I realized this is one of the coolest coaches I’ve ever met in my life, at this level of football.
“He wasn’t such blocking out certain things — he was letting my know I could be on this team and I can be all-in and be able to find a chance to fight for a spot.”