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Road tree monsters? How the Chicago Bears now lead offensively

The Chicago Bears are going through an identity crisis of the best kind. A team known for its defensive prowess over the past few decades has now undergone a makeover. It’s all about the offense now, baby.

With the addition of Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze, the ninth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Bears could possibly have the best backroom in the NFL.

As part of an effort to create the best possible landing spot for new Bears quarterback Caleb Williams, general manager Ryan Poles has infused some experience into the offense. He traded a fourth-round pick for Keenan Allen after acquiring DJ Moore in a trade from the No. 1 pick last year. For good measure, the Poles then also nabbed Odunze with the team’s second 2024 first-round pick, a player Williams already appears to have a relationship with.

In fact, all four of the aforementioned players had a throwing session the week before the draft, before Williams or Odunze were even a Bears.

“I found out, was it two days ago? It came out,” the Poles said on draft night. “I thought it was pretty cool. Yet at the time, I was nervous about not being able to figure out where we needed to do something to make it work. So when I found out, it was cool, and obviously now this group has worked together, which is good.”

Considering Moore is still the best wide receiver on this team, Allen is now their WR2, who should be used primarily in the slot, the speedy Odunze will now expand the pack, adding the complementary dimension to his counterparts veterans.

Odunze was widely considered one of the top three receivers in this draft class. The other two, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers, were drafted to be their team’s top option. Odunze is his team’s third option and could instantly become the best in the league at the position. Take a second and try to think of someone you would take over from right now.

For this reason, I don’t think there is a trio of receivers that will end up rivaling what Chicago fields this season.

For a team as hungry for offense as Chicago, that’s a crazy idea.

Moore was the team’s leading receiver last season, rushing for 1,364 yards, which ranks sixth in the NFL. According to Next Gen Stats, Moore had the second-most receiving yards compared to expectations, averaging 15.1 yards. That’s just behind CeeDee Lamb and means Moore is one of the best at creating with less. He also had the second-most receptions of 20 yards or more, just behind Tyreek Hill. Meanwhile, Allen was in Los Angeles, taking 30.5 percent of his team’s target share, good for third best in the league behind Hill and Davante Adams. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who spent 56.7 percent of his time in the slot.

Now you add Odunze who recorded a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine to combine with a diverse skill set.

“As a receiver, he can line up anywhere…inside, outside,” Poles said after drafting Odunze. “You like his ability to finish in contested situations. He plays hard. He plays big. He runs after catches really well. He’s also a punt returner. I mean, the kid just put in the time and has improved every year, and he’s a winner. He can impact the game at any time. If you’re a quarterback and you have doubts and you want to give a guy the opportunity. to finish, he’s your man He did it consistently.

The Bears won the offseason with the Caleb Williams-Rome Odunze duo

The Philadelphia Eagles have AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. The Miami Dolphins have Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Cincinnati Bengals? Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. They are all tandems. The only significant wide receiver trio is in Seattle with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. But even then, would you take away what the Bears have? There’s good reason to think Chicago still wins offensively – especially if Williams is the Promised Prince.

It’s a new era in the Windy City. With this new era comes a new identity – one that Chicago has never seen before.

Even with a defensive head coach in Matt Eberflus. Even with a top-five defense. They are now an offensive team and the first of their kind in blue and orange. That in itself should be enough to tell Bears fans, this time it really could be different.

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen has previous stops with The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, including 2020, which added Super Bowl champion (and boat parade participant) to her resume. You can follow Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.


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