GM Ryan Poles took some criticism from outside experts for the Chase Claypool trade. They felt a rebuilding team like the Chicago Bears shouldn’t be in the business of acquiring veteran players right now. Not when it involves giving up what will likely be a high 2nd round pick. Poles stood his ground, believing Claypool was a talent worth the price. He could immediately help the offense and Justin Fields take a step forward.
Getting others inside Halas Hall on his side didn’t take long. Claypool arrived for his first practice on Wednesday, November 2nd. In that time, it appears he’s already made a big impression. Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago spoke with Darnell Mooney about what he’s seen from his new teammate thus far. The response was pure excitement. Not because of what he knows of Claypool’s reputation. It’s because of what he saw on the field.
“He had a crazy catch out there today,” Mooney told NBC Sports Chicago. “It was like a deep ball and he just like went up and big-boyed someone. He Mossed them. Exactly. The things he has been doing. It was nice to see it in person.”
“I was like, ‘That’s why you make the trade right there,'” Mooney said. “That’s why you do it.”
Chase Claypool is a rare physical specimen.
People are quick to call him nothing special because of his okay-not-great production this season in Pittsburgh. They ignore the fact he had two QBs in Mitch Trubisky (not good) and Kenny Pickett (a rookie). Neither of them was equipped to take advantage of Claypool’s biggest strength, which is his vertical ability. He has enough speed to get down the field and the size to outbattle most cornerbacks if the catch is contested. That is why he was so successful during his first two seasons with Ben Roethlisberger.
Enter Fields. He is one of the best deep ball throwers in the NFL. His strengths line up perfectly with what Chase Claypool does best. It is a perfect match between quarterback and wide receiver. So it shouldn’t be a huge surprise the two are already connecting for big plays in practice. Chicago badly needed somebody that could go make a play for their quarterback. Claypool is that guy. One can imagine he’s out to prove something after Pittsburgh shipped him out.