When Ryan Poles explained his decision to involve D.J. Moore in the blockbuster trade for the #1 overall pick, he said he wanted another “separator.” It was a casual comment that held far more meaning than many Chicago Bears fans truly grasped. The GM said he needed another receiver who knew how to get open. It was a big problem last season. Only Darnell Mooney seemed capable of consistently creating space, giving Justin Fields an adequate window to throw into. Dante Pettis? Equanimeous St. Brown? Velus Jones? All of them had their moments, but not nearly enough.
That will change with Moore. Here are some numbers if you need an idea of how good he is at creating space. Moore averaged 2.8 yards of separation last season with Carolina. Here are some of the best names in the NFL and their numbers in the same category.
- Justin Jefferson – 3.1
- CeeDee Lamb – 3.1
- Davante Adams – 2.9
- Stefon Diggs – 2.8
- A.J. Brown – 2.6
- Ja’Marr Chase – 2.5
- Terry McLaurin – 2.6
- Amari Cooper – 2.5
- Tee Higgins – 2.5
This is where the ideal connection with Fields comes into play. The Bears quarterback was at his absolute best during his two years at Ohio State. His go-to receiver during that time was Chris Olave. The 1st round pick of the New Orleans Saints averaged 2.7 yards of separation last year. Basically, Chicago just gave Fields another Olave.
D.J. Moore wasn’t the only addition that deserves praise.
Cole Kmet created the most separation of any tight end in the league last year at 4.4 yards. Only one player managed to match him with that same number. It was Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan, whom the Bears had just signed as a free agent. Throw in the fact that Mooney was averaging a whopping 3.6 yards of separation before he got hurt, and the picture is coming into focus. The Bears now have four players on the offensive roster capable of creating space in the passing game.
While the group might not be star-studded compared to other units, Poles has pieced together a corps that fits his quarterback to perfection. Fields is at his best when he has clear throwing windows down the field. D.J. Moore will enhance that beyond anything the Bears have had in years. If the offensive line does its job, this could be the breakout year fans have waited for.