Recent history in the NFL draft suggests the wide receiver position typically sees around five or six players at the position go in the 1st round. The modern-day record is seven. Nobody expects 2022 to be much different from the norm. While not high in overall star power, most experts agree this is another talented class. How the board falls will depend on which teams feel the need to grab one early. This is the big question facing the Chicago Bears.
In a league driven more than ever by quarterbacks, having a strong cast of receivers is seen as essential. So there are plenty of possible landings spots for the top names. It will come down to determining which ones are the most likely to pull the trigger and how many of them there are. This will go a long way in helping paint a picture of whether the Bears might get lucky and see somebody fall to the 2nd round.
These teams must pass for the Chicago Bears to get lucky
Arizona Cardinals (23rd pick)
The Cardinals have spent a 2nd round pick in each of their previous three drafts on wide receivers. That doesn’t count two other picks in 2019. They loved trying to stockpile at the position. With Christian Kirk gone, the team is looking at a trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and an aging AJ Green to carry the load. All three of those players have a history of health issues. Arizona may wish to fortify the position, giving Kyler Murray as much firepower as possible given the importance of this coming season.
Kansas City Chiefs (29th and 30th picks)
Poles’ former team shocked the NFL world when they traded All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. While it made sense from a financial perspective given his lofty contract demands of him, it still opened a huge void in Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal. Mecole Hardman is still there, and the team added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marques Valdez-Scantling as free agents. Yet nobody will fear that group as much as they did when Hill was there. With two 1st rounders, one of them feels like a lock to be a young and cheaper weapon they can give their star QB.
Green Bay Packers (22nd and 28th picks)
Green Bay hasn’t drafted a receiver in the 1st round since 2002. It hasn’t been part of their philosophy. However, with Aaron Rodgers approaching his 40s and Davante Adams traded to Las Vegas, the team has to know its Super Bowl window is closing. Especially after the Jordan Love pick appears to have flopped. They can’t expect Sammy Watkins, Allen Lazard, and Randall Cobb to bring home a championship. Rodgers is great, but he can’t work miracles. They need another weapon and have the excuse of multiple 1st rounders.
Atlanta Falcons (8th pick)
Not too long ago, the Falcons had one of the most formidable receiving corps in the NFL, led by Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Now both of them are gone, as is Matt Ryan. They are completely starting over. Wide receiver might not be high on their priority list compared to other positions but considering Auden Tate and Damiere Byrd might be their best options, they may not have a choice. They hope offering Marcus Mariota a second chance as a starter works out. That won’t be possible unless they give him current targets defenses will respect. With an offensive head coach in Arthur Smith, this feels like a strong possibility.
Tennessee Titans (26th pick)
Leaning on Derrick Henry is a strategy that has worked well for the Titans in recent years, but they always fall short in the playoffs because they can’t pass the ball when it matters. They tried to fix it last year by trading for Julio Jones. That didn’t work due to health issues. Now Ryan Tannehill’s options seem thin this year. AJ Brown is a stud. Beyond him, their best option is newly-acquired Robert Woods from Los Angeles, and he’s coming off a torn ACL. While the Chicago Bears might like that situation, Tennessee is thinking Super Bowl. So they can’t afford such a slim margin of error.
Washington Commanders (11th pick)
Trading for Carson Wentz “solved” the quarterback question for Washington. If they want to crack the NFC East, they’ll need to get him weapons. Terry McLaurin is a star, but the situation behind him is less certain. Curtis Samuel is a decent player but he hasn’t lived up to his potential. Cam Sims took a step back after a promising 2020. Ron Rivera isn’t a fool. He knows everything goes through the quarterback. Washington is well-positioned to get either the #1 or #2 wide receiver on their board.
Post Views: 1,220