Jonathan Mingo

2023 NFL Draft: Bears should take long look at WR Jonathan Mingo after dominant NFL Combine

The 2023 NFL Draft wide receiver class isn’t as strong as the last few years, but there are several quality wideouts the Chicago Bears can target to upgrade their lackluster receiver room.

One of those pass catchers is Mississipi’s Jonathan Mingo.

Mingo’s 2023 NFL Combine performance will jumpstart his climb up the wide receiver rankings and into the Day-2 conversation. Prior to his workout at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Ole Miss standout was considered a Day-3 player. That’s about to change.

Mingo measured 6-2 and 220 pounds, offering the NFL one of the better physical profiles of all the wide receivers in the 2023 draft. He doubled down on his weigh-in with an incredible 4.46 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical jump, and 10-foot-9 broad jump.

To put Mingo’s workout into perspective, he’s almost two inches taller, ran a faster 40, and jumped higher than Philadelphia Eagles star (and former Ole Miss great) A.J. Brown.

Jonathan Mingo did more than just time well; he was smooth in the on-field drills as well.

Mingo’s rise up the 2023 NFL Draft rankings began at the Senior Bowl, where he flashed his fantastic blend of size and speed in one-on-ones.

The Chicago Bears aren’t expected to use their first-round selection on a wide receiver this year. They pick too high. Even if they trade out of the No. 1 overall, they probably won’t slide outside the top 10. There isn’t a wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft who’s worthy of a top-10 pick. Instead, GM Ryan Poles will likely pivot to pass-catchers in Round 2.

Chicago currently has one second-round pick, No. 53 overall. If the Bears trade down, they’re almost certain to add an additional second-rounder to this year’s arsenal, and it’ll likely be a top-50 pick. And that’s where Mingo comes in.

Jonathan Mingo didn’t erupt during the 2022 college season. He finished the year with 51 catches for 861 yards and five scores. Solid, but not elite, numbers. It’s part of why he’s flown under the radar for much of the 2023 NFL Draft season.

Now that he’s announced his arrival as one of the most appealing traits-based receivers, his pre-combine ranking (barely a top 150 player) will shoot way up and into the top 64. At least, it should.

Adding Mingo to a wide receiver room with Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney would provide the Chicago Bears with an explosive trio of wideouts with complementary skill sets. Good luck to opposing defensive backfields that try to match up against Claypool (6-4, 238 pounds) and Mingo while also dealing with the slippery route-running of Mooney.

Before the scouting combine, there was a general fear that the Bears would be forced to overpay for a middling veteran wide receiver in free agency to add more weapons for QB Justin Fields in 2023. And while no wide receivers in this year’s class look the part of an elite WR1, the number of legitimate NFL starters at the position who will fall into Round 2 is high. That’s great news for Chicago.

Jonathan Mingo stood out the most. He was one of the 2023 NFL Combine’s biggest winners, and he may have sprinted his way toward becoming a Chicago Bear in April.

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