Bears coach Matt Nagy thinks his team got one of the most talented receivers in football in the fifth round of last year’s draft.
Darnell Mooney, who caught 61 passes for 631 yards as a rookie last season, could develop into one of the best big-play threats in the NFL, in Nagy’s view.
“I’ve been around Tyreek Hill,” Nagy said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve been around a young DeSean Jackson. I’m telling you right now, this guy has the complete package and has the ability to be compared to them.”
Nagy said he could tell from Week One of last season that Mooney was going to be special.
“This kid is the real deal. I’m serious,” Nagy said of Mooney. “You want to talk about an exciting player? I’m just so blown away at the things this kid does. Coming in here with no offseason, coming into training camp, playing that first game against Detroit and showing us that the lights weren’t too bright for him. Amazed at his mental ability to handle this offense from the get-go. To put it into action, to make big plays. . . . It’s exciting as a coach because he has a rare element of speed, combined with route-running, hands and passion. And commitment. You take all that and you say, ‘My gosh, we got this guy in the fifth round? Are you kidding me?’”
The speedy, 5-foot-10, 176-pound Mooney has a similar athletic makeup to Hill and Jackson. But as a playmaker he still has a long way to go to justify Nagy’s comments.