The Chicago Bears aren’t done bringing in wide receivers. A day after adding ex-Atlanta Falcons wideout Justin Hardy and ex-Dallas Cowboys practice squad receiver Jon’Vea Johnson, Chicago is working out a former 1st-round pick: ex-Washington Football Team and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Josh Doctson. ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report Chicago’s interest in the wideout.
After trading former second-round pick Anthony Miller to the Houston Texans, Chicago has shown a strong interest in wideouts despite having a stacked receivers room. We’ll know soon enough if Doctson impressed.
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Doctson Never Lived Up to 1st Round Hype
In his four seasons in the league, Doctson has accumulated 81 catches for 1,100 yards (13.6 yards per catch) and 8 touchdowns in 34 total games.
Washington selected Doctson out of Texas Christian University with the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, ahead of the likes of New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas. An Achilles injury kept him off the field for much of his rookie season, and he only made it onto the field for two games that year.
After getting released by Washington, he signed a one-year deal with the Vikings in 2019, but the injury bug bit again, and he spent a significant portion of the season on injured reserve. He played in just one game, registering zero stats in a wholly forgettable season. Doctson didn’t play at all in 2020. He caught on with the New York Jets, but chose to opt out before the season started.
Doctson never lived up to the hype generated by his college days. In his three seasons at TCU, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver had 179 catches for 2,784 yards and 29 scores. At 28, he’s still young enough to be an impact player if he stays healthy and lands with the right offense.
How Could Doctson Fit in Bears’ Offense?
An excellent jump ball receiver and solid route-runner in college, Doctson would likely fill the slot role for the Bears. Pro Football Focus looked at his college targets and found that 39% came on slants, in routes and on post patterns primarily in the middle of the field:
Doctson also ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash back in 2016, and we all know about Matt Nagy’s affection for speed. It’s hard to see him making the active roster, though — if Chicago picks him up, he’s a likely practice squad candidate, if anything.
Nagy said this about the group of WRs the team has brought in this offseason:
The competition that we brought in at the wide receiver position is really good,” Nagy said about the team’s new group of wide receivers. “You think of a guy like Marquise Goodwin, who we brought in, and Damiere Byrd, obviously having (Riley) Ridley and (Javon) Wims still here and A-Rob (Allen Robinson) and (Darnell) Mooney and there’s a lot of depth. You’ve got other guys that I didn’t mention that are on our roster that are gonna completely compete and go out there and then what we’ve gotta do is let them do their thing and see where they’re at. I think one of the things is we’re gonna feel a little bit of a difference there at that position, that group, and it starts with those guys.
Doctson will be trying to enter one of the more crowded position groups the Bears have, and it won’t be easy, but we’ll see if he can get a second-chance opportunity in the Windy City.