Bears

The Bears actually had the best receiver in football for a stretch last season

Bears

This may surprise you, but the 3-13 Chicago Bears actually had the best wide receiver in the NFL for a stretch in 2016.

And no, it was not 2013 Pro Bowler Alshon Jeffery, who is considered one of the top receivers in the game when healthy. In part, because he was only on the field for 12 games last season and when he was playing, only produced 52 catches for 821 yards and two scores.

It was actually Cam Meredith, Chicagoland native and Illinois State University product:

In the final five games of 2016 — with Matt Barkley throwing to him — Meredith caught 31 balls on 43 targets for 439 yards and two touchdowns. That's a 72.1 catch percentage.

As a special bonus, he also threw a two-yard touchdown pass.

If you extrapolate those few weeks over a 16-game season, Meredith would be on pace for 99 catches, 1,405 yards and six TDs. AKA: Jeffery's aforementioned 2013 Pro Bowl season (89 catches, 1,421 yards, 7 TDs).

On the 2016 season, Meredith had 66 catches on 97 targets for 888 yards and four scores in only his second season in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

Beyond Jeffery's health issues, Meredith's emergence looms as a possible huge reason why Ryan Pace's front office let Jeffery walk this offseason.