The Bears may have picked up one of the bigger steals of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday.
With their fourth round draft pick (No. 126 overall), the Bears selected Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley. While the team did not necessarily need a wide receiver, getting Ridley when they did was lauded as a great move by NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
"I think [the Bears] got the best route runner this year," Jeremiah said of Ridley. "I think this is a perfect fit in this offense, tremendous value. [The Bears] just got a top 50 player, in my opinion."
Jeremiah was high on Ridley before the draft, ranking him as the No. 42 overall prospect. Ironically, he ranked Bears third round draft pick David Montgomery one position lower than Ridley at No. 43. Other expert rankings for Ridley include: No. 59 (The Athletic's Dane Brugler), No. 71 (Pro Football Focus), No. 72 (Rotoworld's Josh Norris) and No. 99 (the Ringer's Danny Kelly).
Ridley has good size (6-1, 199 pounds), and he's a very polished route runner. He lacks an explosive burst in his release, but understands how to set up defenders and is very efficient at the top of his route. Despite lacking top-end juice, he creates separation with his clean footwork in/out of the break point. He has very strong hands and attacks the ball at the highest point. After the catch, he is tough, but he lacks premier burst or elusiveness. His relative lack of production is a concern, but there were a lot of mouths to feed in this offense. Overall, Ridley is ready to contribute right away. While he doesn't possess the ideal twitch, he consistently gets open and has strong, reliable hands.
Ridley's brother, Calvin, currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons. He and the Bears shared a heartfelt moment on Twitter shortly after the Bears made the pick.
We’ll take good care of him. 👍— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 27, 2019
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky welcomed Ridley to the team via Twitter.
— Mitchell Trubisky (@Mtrubisky10) April 27, 2019