Chicago Bears

Pro Football Focus ranks DJ Moore among NFL’s top 20 wide receivers

The Chicago Bears’ offseason mission to add weapons around quarterback Justin Fields was accomplished with the trade for former Carolina Panthers star DJ Moore.

The Bears sent the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for Moore and a bundle of significant draft assets. It was a trade that injected excitement into Chicago’s passing game because finally, the Bears have a playmaker who can beat any cornerback and any coverage in the league.

And that’s not just Bears fandom speaking. According to the analytics giant Pro Football Focus, Moore is a top-20 player at his position, checking in at No. 16.

“The Chicago Bears securing Moore’s services as part of their trade out of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft was a real coup,” wrote PFF’s Sam Monson. “He isn’t coming off a great year of production, but prior to last season Moore had three straight years of 1,100-plus receiving yards and is still averaging 1.94 yards per route run for his career despite some ugly quarterback situations. Moore can be the elite target Justin Fields has not yet had in the NFL.”

Moore had 63 catches for 888 yards and a career-best 7 touchdowns in 2022. It was the second-lowest single-season yardage total of his career, but he was catching passes from a combination of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and PJ Walker; not exactly a Who’s Who of quarterbacks.

In fact, Moore hasn’t had a quarterback like Fields since his rookie season, when Cam Newton started 14 games. Since then, it’s been a murderer’s row of bad quarterbacks who’ve started at least one game: Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, Mayfield, Darnold, and Walker.

It’s remarkable DJ Moore had three-straight seasons with more than 1,100 yards with that list of passers.

Moore’s ranking among NFL wide receivers has a very good chance to climb several spots in 2023. A career year could be coming, and if it does.

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