Darnell Mooney’s latest football obsession is wild

Darnell Mooney's latest football obsession is wild

Darnell Mooney is no stranger to being overlooked. Coming out of high school, he didn’t receive many offers from prestigious institutions. That’s how he wound up at Tulane. Then, despite a productive career, he was just a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draught. There were 24 wide receivers ahead of him in that class. Experts were sceptical when the Chicago Bears selected him 173rd overall. He had incredible speed. Perhaps he’d be a reliable deep danger.

Speed alone doesn’t do that. Not in the NFL.
The reality is Mooney is a far more well-rounded receiver than he gets credit for. That is because he spends an inordinate amount of time working on his craft. People talk about speed and quickness. They don’t recognize how good he’s become as a route-runner. That isn’t by accident. In his latest column, Dan Pompei of The Athletic put into context how insanely driven the Bears receiver is at getting better.

It didn’t take long to realize Mooney was far more than that. In a very short time, the rookie went from likely wide receiver #4 or 5 to their second-best target on the team. He broke the Bears’ single-season rookie record with 66 receptions. Then for an encore, he cracked 1,000 yards receiving last season. He did this while having to catch passes from four different quarterbacks. That is not easy to accomplish.

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