Monday, April 22, 2024

VIDEO: Darnell Mooney Isn’t Messing Around This Year

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Darnell Mooney has high expectations this year. As well he should. The former 5th round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2021, posting his first 1,000-yard season. Now his chemistry with Justin Fields continues to build. Everything points to him enjoying maybe his best year yet as a professional. Based on the latest visual evidence, he is obviously taking that idea seriously.

The third-year pro enjoyed doing work with kids at a youth football camp alongside Fields’ personal trainer, Simeon Kelley. It seems some of the youngsters wanted to challenge Mooney head-on in a passing drill. Ever the competitor, the Bears receiver obliged. After beating his man off the line of scrimmage, he ran a post pattern where no less than four defenders were waiting on him. Did it matter? Of course, it didn’t.

Darnell Mooney looks more complete than ever.

One of the biggest criticisms throughout his first two years was his lack of physicality. He wasn’t able to make the tougher catches. That isn’t a surprise considering he’s 5’11 and barely 175 lbs. Even during a drill against kids, that catch demonstrates he might be getting better about the problem. He has the concentration and mindset that every time the ball is in the air, it’s his and nobody else’s. That is the mentality a #1 receiver should have.

There should be more excitement about what could be coming this season. The Bears figure to have a run-first offense with lots of play action. Fields was excellent on play passes last season, and this will only serve Darnell Mooney all the better. With defenses forced to respect the run, it will enable him to burn them deep more often. If he can become even more dangerous as a route runner, he may not need scheming to become a serious problem.

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Limited attention from the national media only figures to feed that chip on his shoulder too.

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