Sports Illustrated recently picked 10 players who they think will reach their first Pro Bowl in 2022 and they included a Chicago Bears player.

Conor Orr, an NFL writer for, predicted that Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney will be elected to the Pro Bowl this upcoming season.


If you have yet to buy a ticket on the Darnell Mooney bandwagon, too bad. They cost more than Harry Potter seats on Broadway. The hyper-athletic third-year wide receiver, who overperformed in a broken offense last year, steps into a more refined, outside-zone-style offense that should, at the very least, put him in position to get the ball in space. While we have been notably grim on the prospect of a first-year Bears revival under Matt Eberflus, we are bullish on the idea of Mooney taking over a handful of games for the Bears this year and shoving his way into the elite tier of NFL wide receivers. Mooney is everything Fields needs right now. He overperforms despite a lack of schemed separation and can be just as productive running a bunch of stops and quick outs as he can knifing a defense with go balls.

Dec 26, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) runs for yards after the catch against Seattle Seahawks defensive back Ryan Neal (26, left) and cornerback Sidney Jones (23, right) during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I’d almost be surprised if Mooney didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2022.

The former Tulane standout had a solid rookie season in 2020 before truly breaking out last year in a not-so-great situation under previous Chicago head coach Matt Nagy.

With Nagy finally out of the picture, Mooney and quarterback Justin Fields can truly thrive.

The only thing that might hold Mooney back is the fact that the Bears didn’t bring in enough wide receiver help to take the attention off Mooney. Opposing teams will be able to focus on Mooney, though I think he’s athletic enough to still excel.

Mooney caught 81 passes for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns last season. We should see those numbers improve in 2022 as he becomes more comfortable playing with Fields.

Featured image via Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports