It was only a matter of time before the Chicago Bears addressed the wide receiver position in the 2021 draft. While it took longer than expected, GM Ryan Pace finally struck. He needed to get his new quarterback Justin Fields some weapons. His eventual choice turned out to be a highly encouraging one. From the school of the previous quarterback he drafted no less.
Dazz Newsome wasn’t the primary focus for draft evaluators among North Carolina receivers. That’s a shame too because the guy can play. What he lacks in size he makes up for in good hands, quickness, and underrated speed. The competitiveness he shows on every catch stands out. This might be why he’s also a good punt returner. The problems with him are primarily route-running related. Something that should be correctable with more coaching.
He certainly didn’t lack productivity.
In the past two seasons for the Tarheels, he grabbed 126 catches for just over 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns. If that weren’t enough, he added 538 yards and a touchdown on punt returns. This is somebody who is dangerous with the ball in his hands. The scary part is his game isn’t refined yet. If and when he starts to grasp the value of route running? He’ll be even more dangerous.
It is fairly obvious that Newsome should be viewed as competition for the Bears’ slot receiver job. Anthony Miller is in the doghouse with coaches and could be traded at some point this offseason. Having Newsome in place gives them a much-needed option in the event Miller departs. He also could convince the Bears to keep Tarik Cohen off punt return duties after what happened in 2020.
#Bears select WR Dazz Newsome at No. 221 overall.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) May 1, 2021
Justin Fields is a good fit with Newsome
One thing about the Bears’ new quarterback is his deep ball. It is arguably the best in the entire draft. Fields is so good at letting it rip down the field and his accuracy is so consistent. So adding somebody like Newsome with his vertical prowess makes it such a natural connection. Don’t forget the Bears also have Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin on the roster as well. This offense has added a good deal of explosion.
Chicago has routinely been among the worst teams in the NFL at big plays the past few years. That is something Matt Nagy can no longer accept. Everything about this offseason suggests he aims to fix it. Adding several speedy receivers. Beefing up the offensive line. Then landing a rocket-armed quarterback in Justin Fields to top it off. This has a chance to become an exciting unit in the near future.
Hopefully, Newsome lives up to his talent.
It will be fun to see what happens. Not a lot of 6th round picks have panned out for the Bears beyond special teams work in recent years. Newsome has a great chance to break that streak. The best part is he’s arriving at a time where competition on the depth chart will be widespread. What with Allen Robinson, Miller, and Javon Wims having uncertain futures beyond 2021.