Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney might be the most underrated player entering the 2022 NFL season. He’s never mentioned among the cluster of receivers poised to breakout as a star this year despite eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards in his second season as a pro. With little competition for targets this fall, a career year is coming for the former Tulane star.
Part of what makes Mooney such a special player is his route running. He isn’t blessed with size; he’s actually pretty small at 5’11, 174 pounds. Still, Mooney has elite speed and twitch, which he uses to his advantage as a nearly uncoverable player.
Check out this rep from training camp where Darnell Mooney welcomes rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon to life as a pro:
Mooney ended the 2021 season with 81 catches for 1,055 yards and four scores. He’s now the unquestioned WR1 in the Chicago Bears’ passing game and has a special chemistry growing with Fields.
It doesn’t matter how big, strong, or experienced the cornerback is who’s lining up opposite Mooney. With routes like the one above, he’s going to be a major problem for defenses in 2022.