The Chicago Bears selected Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver, out of Tulane University. He was the 28th pick of the fifth round and was the 26th wide receiver drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Darnell Mooney is 5’10” and 176 pounds. He played four years at Tulane and will be 22 years old at the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. While Tulane is a respected academic institution, late qualifying test scores prevented Mooney from receiving offers from bigger programs.
Darnell Mooney broke out at the age of 19 (age during their first season with a 20% receiving dominator rating) in his second season at Tulane. During Mooney’s junior season, he had his best season of production at 20 years old. Mooney had 54 catches, for 993 receiving yards, and eight scrimmage touchdowns for a receiving dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s receiving yards and receiving touchdowns) of 47.5% (92nd percentile). Mooney had ordinary age-adjusted production by averaging 650 scrimmage yards (53rd percentile) and 4.8 scrimmage touchdowns (47th percentile) per season throughout his career for the Green Waves. He was a focal point for the passing offense at times in a run-heavy offense. He had an average scrimmage dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns) per season of 11.7% (51st percentile). Mooney was efficient at times but only averaged 0.73 scrimmage yards per team play (54th percentile).
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Darnell Mooney has a slightly below-average height-adjusted speed score of 91.7 (43rd percentile) despite running a 4.38-second 40-yard time at the NFL Combine. He has a good burst score of 124.9 (72nd percentile). Mooney is a small, low-BMI receiver that will rely on his 4.38-second level wheels and quickness to win in the NFL.
NFL Landing Spot
Chicago Bears: The 2019 Bears took a major step back highlighted by the struggles of Trubisky, except for Allen Robinson. His 154 targets accounted for 27% of the offense, ranking him third amongst all receivers and contributing to his finish as the WR12. Anthony Miller regressed in 2019, having set expectations high by posting seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2018, but still saw 15% of the targets. He saw little to no action at the beginning of the season, before posting good/great weeks in Week’s 11 through 15. Unfortunately, his season ended in Week 16. The Bears have a few other receivers on the roster, but they did not see any significant time or targets in 2019. However, this is an offense that targeted RB Tarik Cohen second most frequently and just signed Jimmy Graham as their tight end. The Bears were one of the worst offenses in 2019. Despite their inefficiency, they still ran the 11th most plays and passed on 61.3% of them. While there is some hope that Foles replicates his 2017 playoff and Super Bowl magic now that he is reunited with John DeFilippo, Foles has historically given reason to hold your breath. Allen Robinson is in the final year of his contract, which might inspire some to stash a new Bear for the 2021 season. That, Miller’s 2019 regression, and a blank slate with a new quarterback could provide some opportunity for a drafted wide receiver.
Rivals’ Rapid Analysis
Darnell Mooney is a talented small-school wide receiver that hopes to show off his speed in the NFL.The Bears invested sixth round draft capital into Mooney. He has some degree of opportunity and will compete with Robinson, Miller and Graham for targets from Foles.
Darnell Mooney is in Shawn’s fifth wide receiver tier, WR26, and Shawn’s Overall Rookie Rank 39. Shawn would target Mooney in the late fourth round of superflex rookie drafts (late fourth round in single QB). Mooney is an undersized guy, but he did show some promise and has some interesting facets to his game. But the real highlight here is the landing spot. The Bears currently have no WR3 on their depth chart. The test score issue that kept Mooney out of big programs could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as you land a receiver whose stock took a hit because of college name value as he easily takes that WR3 role.
Darnell Mooney is in Dave’s fifth wide receiver tier, WR21-WR23, and his 38th-42nd ranked rookie overall. Mooney is a much more attractive wide receiver to target in the fourth round than the last few receivers taken before him in the NFL Draft. If you are high on Mooney, you should be targeting him in the fourth round of rookie drafts. It’s difficult to judge without knowing where a few other sleepers end up, but Mooney to the Bears is intriguing. After letting Taylor Gabriel walk in free agency, Mooney has an opportunity to take over his field-stretching role within the offense. As a small-school wide receiver with speed, Mooney has some intrigue as an option in the fourth round of rookie drafts.
This article was written in collaboration with Dave Wright. For more analysis check out Dave and Shawn’s previous articles at Dynasty Football Factory. Additionally, you can also find Dave’s dynasty superflex rankings at Dynasty Football Factory. Stay tuned for more rookie wide receiver rapid reaction articles from us throughout the entire NFL Draft. We will also give you instant reactions for priority UDFA wide receivers to help you try and find the next Adam Thielen. Interact with Dave and Shawn on Twitter @ff_spaceman and @ff_walrus. You can listen to our rivalry on our podcast @ATaleofTwoRivals with @ff_banterman.