2023 Rookie Review - Offense

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HisRoyalSweetness
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With so many threads discussing what's going to happen in the coming months with the hiring of a new OC and DC, whether the Bears will trade the first overall pick and who they might draft, Justin Fields future etc. how about a look back at last year's draft class, how they played and how they're projected to perform next season?

As it was a large draft class I've split it into two threads, one for defense (viewtopic.php?p=367403#p367403) and this and one for offense.

A reminder of the offensive players from the 2023 draft class with their stats and, for those who still put stock in them, their PFF grades:

1. Darnell Wright (R1 - Pick 10)
  • 17 games (17 starts)
  • 1133 offensive snaps (100%) plus 59 on special teams (13%)
  • 7 sacks allowed
  • 12 penalties (11 accepted for 96 yards)
  • PFF Grade: 62.4 (54th of 83 OT)
5. Roschon Johnson (R4 - Pick 115)
  • 15 games (0 starts)
  • 395 offensive snaps (40% in games played) plus 152 on special teams (39%)
  • 81 carries for 352 yards (4.3 ypa with 1.5 yards after contact) and 2 TDs
  • 34 catches on 40 targets (85.0%) for 209 yards (6.1 ypc) with 1 drop and an 88.4 passer rating when targeted
  • 1 fumble
  • 1 penalty (0 accepted)
  • PFF Grade: 65.6 (48th of 61 HB)
6. Tyler Scott (R4 - Pick 133)
  • 17 games (4 starts)
  • 439 offensive snaps (39%) plus 55 on special teams (12%)
  • 17 catches on 32 targets (53.1%) for 168 yards (9.9 ypc) with 2 drops and a 55.2 passer rating when targeted
  • 7 carries for 41 yards (5.9 ypa)
  • 1 fumble
  • 1 penalty for 5 yards
  • PFF Grade: 52.7 (115th of 128 WR)
11. Tyson Bagent (Undrafted)
  • 5 games (4 starts ), 2-2 record in games started
  • 305 offensive snaps (89% in games played)
  • 94 completions from 143 attempts (65.7%), 859 yards (6.0 ypa), 3 TD (2.1%), 6 INT (4.2%), 71.4 passer rating
  • 76.8% on target throws, 13.8% bad throws, 6 passes dropped
  • Pressured 26 times (16.4%) resulting in 5 sacks (3.4%), 10 hits and 11 hurries
  • 23 carries for 109 yards (4.7 ypa) with 2 TD including 11 scrambles averaging 8.5 yards
  • 3 fumbles
  • 0 penalties
  • 51.4 QBR
  • PFF Grade: 57.7
(Edited to add Scott's rushing stats)
Last edited by HisRoyalSweetness on Sun Jan 21, 2024 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Moriarty
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With Moore, Claypool, Mooney ahead of him, I wasn't expecting Scott to set the world on fire or anything, but 439 snaps and only 168 yds is just horrible.
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Moriarty wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:20 am With Moore, Claypool, Mooney ahead of him, I wasn't expecting Scott to set the world on fire or anything, but 439 snaps and only 168 yds is just horrible.
Agreed.

I was expecting a lot more and the drops are concerning too.
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This is a technicality but I would ask that DJ Moore be part of the conversation because he's the equivalent of a first round draft choice as part of the trade down.

Darnell Wright: Future anchor RT.
RoJo: Easily part of an effective RB stable and you can see him be a true lead back.
DJ Moore: We all know this one. Superstar.
Bags: All emotions aside on Baby Minshew you've got to be impressed with an undrafted D2 guy coming in and doing what he did. I'm really excited to see what he can become in two years. I do not want to lose him.
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With VJJ and Scott both disappointing I’m a little worried about the WR scouting talent on Poles’ team. Hopefully Tolbert was the problem and the situation improves
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Moriarty wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:20 am With Moore, Claypool, Mooney ahead of him, I wasn't expecting Scott to set the world on fire or anything, but 439 snaps and only 168 yds is just horrible.
WE need new WR2 and WR3...
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How did our TE's fare behind Kmet?
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Moriarty wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:20 am With Moore, Claypool, Mooney ahead of him, I wasn't expecting Scott to set the world on fire or anything, but 439 snaps and only 168 yds is just horrible.
Yeah, I wasn't thrilled by his selection (though I was admittedly less unhappy with using a Day 3 pick than the Day 2 pick spent on VJJ — still considerably higher than I'd've drafted him), and he didn't do anything to make me feel any better about it. Maybe he was really great on coverage teams, I dunno, but I didn't see much from him there either.

So far Poles has drafted two WRs who are really fast and who don't catch particularly well.
One is an isolated incident; two is a coincidence; three is a trend.

There's a school of thought out there that you can teach guys to catch. (I don't subscribe to that myself, but there are some who do.)
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RichH55 wrote: Dplank is correct
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thunderspirit wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 12:34 pm
Moriarty wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:20 am With Moore, Claypool, Mooney ahead of him, I wasn't expecting Scott to set the world on fire or anything, but 439 snaps and only 168 yds is just horrible.
Yeah, I wasn't thrilled by his selection (though I was admittedly less unhappy with using a Day 3 pick than the Day 2 pick spent on VJJ — still considerably higher than I'd've drafted him), and he didn't do anything to make me feel any better about it. Maybe he was really great on coverage teams, I dunno, but I didn't see much from him there either.

So far Poles has drafted two WRs who are really fast and who don't catch particularly well.
One is an isolated incident; two is a coincidence; three is a trend.

There's a school of thought out there that you can teach guys to catch. (I don't subscribe to that myself, but there are some who do.)
Interesting points for sure. And that's talking about evaluation too Re: Poles. I think you could throw Claypool into this mix as well

I don't give Poles full marks for the DJ Moore evaluation (*) - That was a guy that people knew was either already a #1 WR or the type you can debate what a #1 WR really means while noting he's really, really good no matter how you slice it.

(*) For getting Moore? in that trade? Its a Grand Slam. Even more so because Moore was such a proven commodity - But that's not really a scouting success story IMHO
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:33 am This is a technicality but I would ask that DJ Moore be part of the conversation because he's the equivalent of a first round draft choice as part of the trade down.
Nah, because this is a rookie review and DJ's no rookie.
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Highlights for Johnson and Scott:



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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 7:55 pm Highlights for Johnson and Scott:



In watching those, I think for Scott there was one play at about the 1:50 mark that I thought was a nice play. Everything else was rather mundane but he did move the chains in a few key spots. But in watching RoJo there were several play that were very good plays. To be fair, I do think it's easier for RBs to to have such plays.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:58 am
HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 7:55 pm Highlights for Johnson and Scott:



In watching those, I think for Scott there was one play at about the 1:50 mark that I thought was a nice play. Everything else was rather mundane but he did move the chains in a few key spots. But in watching RoJo there were several play that were very good plays. To be fair, I do think it's easier for RBs to to have such plays.
I think the Bears were unnecessarily committed to Herbert this year, and he was playing hurt for most of it. He wasn't showing the lateral quickness we all saw last year. I also think Roschon will get better with a lot more touches.
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Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:54 pm
Arkansasbear wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:58 am

In watching those, I think for Scott there was one play at about the 1:50 mark that I thought was a nice play. Everything else was rather mundane but he did move the chains in a few key spots. But in watching RoJo there were several play that were very good plays. To be fair, I do think it's easier for RBs to to have such plays.
I think the Bears were unnecessarily committed to Herbert this year, and he was playing hurt for most of it. He wasn't showing the lateral quickness we all saw last year. I also think Roschon will get better with a lot more touches.
Herbert is also about to enter a contract year. If I were the Bears, I'd trade him and bring back Foreman. Homer didn't do squat this season, but he did have his most productive year (even though he barely played) under Waldron.
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wab wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:59 pm
Bears Whiskey Nut wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:54 pm

I think the Bears were unnecessarily committed to Herbert this year, and he was playing hurt for most of it. He wasn't showing the lateral quickness we all saw last year. I also think Roschon will get better with a lot more touches.
Herbert is also about to enter a contract year. If I were the Bears, I'd trade him and bring back Foreman. Homer didn't do squat this season, but he did have his most productive year (even though he barely played) under Waldron.
But wasn't Homer brought in to just help on special teams. I think at the time the depth chart about him was thinned out due to injuries, he too was hurt.
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Poles hit it out of the park with Moore. But he again failed to address more WR picks except for Scott in the 4th and then he got minimal touches. Yes, his drops were an issue but was even used correctly, would he have been better in a different WR configuration?
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IDK, but in retrospect it looks like a lot of the players were drawn up to take defenders away from Moore and Kmet. I mean Mooney is one of the better route runners in the NFL, and when he was open, he wasn't even part of the read. To a lesser extent this applies to Scott as well.

It's no coincidence that VJJ got targets when Moore was out for a play here and there, because VJJ is Moore's backup.
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wab wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:59 pm Herbert is also about to enter a contract year. If I were the Bears, I'd trade him and bring back Foreman. Homer didn't do squat this season, but he did have his most productive year (even though he barely played) under Waldron.
I doubt Herbert has much trade value and the ending of the season was very odd when it came to Foreman. He missed a game due to personal reasons and then was a healthy scratch the last two games. Having also been inactive for the first 4 games and also missing one because of an injury he only played in 9. I doubt he'd want to return. Also Foreman only really had a few productive games running the ball and he wasn't great as a receiver and his pass pro, like Herbert's, was dire.

Running back by committee is all well and good, but the Bears would really benefit from a stud RB who can do it all.

I don't think Roschon Johnson is that guy because of a lack of breakaway speed and open field elusiveness, but it was very frustrating seeing him underutilised even in games where he was having the most success of the group. Despite Herbert's injury and Foreman playing so few games Johnson only had double-digit carries once (10 in the win over the Vikings). He played 15 games and only had more than 5 carries on 6 occasions.

He was also the most productive of the RBs as a receiver. He actually finished 3rd on the team with 34 catches, behind only Moore and Kmet, and caught 85% of passes thrown his way versus 68.8% for Foreman and 64.5% for Herbert. Although still not great, he was better than both in pass protection too. Actually his pass protection was disappointing given how much it was touted as a major strength of his when he was drafted. Hopefully it will improve with a year's experience under his belt and a new OC.

I hope Johnson gets an increased role next season. I'd love to see him as part of a tandem akin to Montgomery and Gibbs in Detroit if Poles can successfully find a complementary player in the draft.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 6:36 pm
wab wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:59 pm Herbert is also about to enter a contract year. If I were the Bears, I'd trade him and bring back Foreman. Homer didn't do squat this season, but he did have his most productive year (even though he barely played) under Waldron.
I doubt Herbert has much trade value and the ending of the season was very odd when it came to Foreman. He missed a game due to personal reasons and then was a healthy scratch the last two games. Having also been inactive for the first 4 games and also missing one because of an injury he only played in 9. I doubt he'd want to return. Also Foreman only really had a few productive games running the ball and he wasn't great as a receiver and his pass pro, like Herbert's, was dire.

Running back by committee is all well and good, but the Bears would really benefit from a stud RB who can do it all.

I don't think Roschon Johnson is that guy because of a lack of breakaway speed and open field elusiveness, but it was very frustrating seeing him underutilised even in games where he was having the most success of the group. Despite Herbert's injury and Foreman playing so few games Johnson only had double-digit carries once (10 in the win over the Vikings). He played 15 games and only had more than 5 carries on 6 occasions.

He was also the most productive of the RBs as a receiver. He actually finished 3rd on the team with 34 catches, behind only Moore and Kmet, and caught 85% of passes thrown his way versus 68.8% for Foreman and 64.5% for Herbert. Although still not great, he was better than both in pass protection too. Actually his pass protection was disappointing given how much it was touted as a major strength of his when he was drafted. Hopefully it will improve with a year's experience under his belt and a new OC.

I hope Johnson gets an increased role next season. I'd love to see him as part of a tandem akin to Montgomery and Gibbs in Detroit if Poles can successfully find a complementary player in the draft.
If Fields is retained then he's the guy with the breakaway speed in the backfield. Otherwise I agree with most of what you say about RoJo but think he can be the #1 RB for the team like Montgomery was and maybe even approaching Aaron Jones level. I was surprised to see his relatively low YAC and wonder if it was caused by him getting hit behind the LOS, because otherwise he seems to be a between the tackles strong runner. Yeah, Herbert was supposed to be the feature back and the coaches wanted to bring the rookie along a little more slowly. I don't know if a crucial fumble he had late in the season hurt his PT, or if it was just a matter of giving more PT to Herbert.

Regardless, Poles may be able to find a good RB in the mid-rounds that can be a Gibbs-like back. That would be a good one-two punch for the RB corps.
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Bags is the pick of the crop here. 2-2 from a backup QB, even not considering him being a very raw rookie is a massive win.

Johnson and Scott are incomplete, Wright was a bit underwhelming given the pick and hype. I think he can turn it around but we've got to hope for pretty significant improvement next year.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 6:59 pm Image
Well deserved.
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To be fair, how much competition is there for spots on the All-Rookie Team? How many rookie OTs were there who got significant playing time? Braxton Jones made the team last year too.
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Eric Edholm has posted grades for the NFC North rookie classes over at nfl.com. He gave the Lions an A-, the Packers a B+, the Bears a B and the Vikings a C.

https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-rookie-gra ... nfl-season

Nothing groundbreaking but here's what he has to say about the Bears rookies on offense:
The Bears traded down twice to land Wright. The first trade, involving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, continues to yield benefits, landing Chicago the No. 1 pick this year, as well. The second trade, in which they slid back from ninth to 10th overall, bypassing DT Jalen Carter, who then went to the Eagles, was more questionable. It's hard to say whether Wright or Carter will be the better pro, but Wright started 17 games and showed clear upside over the season. He'll want to shave down the penalties (he totaled 11 in 2023, mostly holds and false starts) and improve as a pass blocker, but his ceiling is high.
...

Bagent certainly was a pleasant surprise, winning the QB2 role and then being elevated to starter for four games while Justin Fields was hurt. The Bears went 2-2 in those starts, and though his interception total (six) was alarming, Bagent showed he could be a quality backup in time. Johnson showed nice potential as a change-of-pace back, receiver and special-teams contributor. Scott was a big-play artist in college but was held in check and suffered from dropped passes as a rookie. He needs to show more in 2024.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 9:05 pm Eric Edholm has posted grades for the NFC North rookie classes over at nfl.com. He gave the Lions an A-, the Packers a B+, the Bears a B and the Vikings a C.

https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-rookie-gra ... nfl-season

Nothing groundbreaking but here's what he has to say about the Bears rookies on offense:
The Bears traded down twice to land Wright. The first trade, involving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, continues to yield benefits, landing Chicago the No. 1 pick this year, as well. The second trade, in which they slid back from ninth to 10th overall, bypassing DT Jalen Carter, who then went to the Eagles, was more questionable. It's hard to say whether Wright or Carter will be the better pro, but Wright started 17 games and showed clear upside over the season. He'll want to shave down the penalties (he totaled 11 in 2023, mostly holds and false starts) and improve as a pass blocker, but his ceiling is high.
...

Bagent certainly was a pleasant surprise, winning the QB2 role and then being elevated to starter for four games while Justin Fields was hurt. The Bears went 2-2 in those starts, and though his interception total (six) was alarming, Bagent showed he could be a quality backup in time. Johnson showed nice potential as a change-of-pace back, receiver and special-teams contributor. Scott was a big-play artist in college but was held in check and suffered from dropped passes as a rookie. He needs to show more in 2024.
Not sure how they grade, but it must not factor in moves made. When looking at grading the Bears' draft, how do you not give them an A simply due to them landing the #1 pick this year. That pick will either be "the greatest QB prospect since Andrew Luck (or John Elway depending on who you listen to)" or a king's ransom of picks and players.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:12 am
HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 9:05 pm Eric Edholm has posted grades for the NFC North rookie classes over at nfl.com. He gave the Lions an A-, the Packers a B+, the Bears a B and the Vikings a C.

https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-rookie-gra ... nfl-season

Nothing groundbreaking but here's what he has to say about the Bears rookies on offense:

Not sure how they grade, but it must not factor in moves made. When looking at grading the Bears' draft, how do you not give them an A simply due to them landing the #1 pick this year. That pick will either be "the greatest QB prospect since Andrew Luck (or John Elway depending on who you listen to)" or a king's ransom of picks and players.

He uses the term "rookie classes", so presumably he's not talking about future picks or DJ Moore.
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Moriarty wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:17 am
Arkansasbear wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:12 am

Not sure how they grade, but it must not factor in moves made. When looking at grading the Bears' draft, how do you not give them an A simply due to them landing the #1 pick this year. That pick will either be "the greatest QB prospect since Andrew Luck (or John Elway depending on who you listen to)" or a king's ransom of picks and players.

He uses the term "rookie classes", so presumably he's not talking about future picks or DJ Moore.
So grading the players only not the draft. That's pretty fair then.
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Wright; More of less as expected from a rookie OT. Has some stuff to clean up but he's what he was advertised to be.

Johnson; Much the same. He's a tough hard to tackle RB who can also catch and pass block. I feel we got what we paid for.

Scott; Moderate disappointment but I'll give him some grace being a rookie. Fast and a better WR than Velus Jones so far.

Bagent; Much better than expected but he showed how good a QB can be who started all four years in college.

Bagent was a nice surprise and I believe he's proven that the game's not too big or too fast for him. I'm content with him as the #2 QB for now even playing behind a rookie. I'd like to see him get more game reps so he keeps developing but also realize that may be tougher to do with CW coming on board and also needing them during preseason.

I think Scott will get better in year two. Some of his issues may have been related to coaching. Tolbert was given three WR to work with; Jones, Scott, and Claypool and not one of them produced as initially expected. Tolbert is gone so let's see how Scott does with Chris Beatty and Thomas Brown working with him. He was a pretty good receiver in college.

Johnson is David Montgomery's replacement. Similar back who should put up similar stats rushing but I believe he's faster in the open field and a better receiver. He probably needs more carries to be more effective rushing but he can get the tough inside yardage and can score around the goal line. He'll be the thunder to Andre Swift's lightning.

Wright showed us what we expected to see. He's a big man with more athleticism and better feet and recovery skills than most RT types and I believe he has the versatility to also play LT if needed or even move inside to OG. Poles likes versatile OL and Wright is that. I expect him to keep improving and play at a Pro Bowl level by year three.
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