The Chicago Bears offense has looked disjointed from the start of 2019. A major disappointment given their level of talent at most positions and being in the second year of Matt Nagy’s offense. However, there are some valid explanations for why things went south. A big one that in hindsight was unavoidable for the Bears was the letdown at tight end. They’d hoped that veteran Trey Burton, who had a decent 2018, and former 2nd round pick Adam Shaheen would form at least a serviceable combination this year.
That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only did both men combine for a pitiful 23 catches for 158 yards, but they also ended up on Injured Reserve together. That is about as bad as it could ever get. Now it looks like the team has to reset at the position. Shaheen will almost certainly be cut and Burton’s future is unknown due to his contract.
One thing is for sure. GM Ryan Pace is almost certain to address the position in the upcoming draft and Brett Soblesky of Bleacher Report thinks they’ll be in prime position to get a difference-maker.
“Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, desperately needs a security blanket in the passing game. Usually, a team’s tight end serves in this role. As such, the Bears can look for one with their second-round pick and find solid value.
Purdue’s Brycen Hopkins is arguably the best tight end prospect in the class, though the position might not feature a first-rounder. Hopkins is a versatile target and ranks second among FBS tight ends with 53 receptions and 688 receiving yards. He won’t be a sound in-line blocker, but the Bears need something more from the position.”
Chicago Bears would love the potential of Brycen Hopkins
What the Bears truly need from the tight end position is a threat in the passing game. Somebody who can take advantage of the attention Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and Taylor Gabriel get every week. Nagy’s offense has a huge package of plays it’s unable to use because of how lacking the team is in that area. If they’re able to land Brycen Hopkins? They would get the exact sort of weapon they’ve been missing.
He’s a top target out of Purdue who’s enjoying the best season of his college career with 830 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games. He had a huge performance against Wisconsin involving eight catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The guy is tall (6’5), athletic, and can run. He also shows a knack for finding the dead spots in coverage. Quarterbacks will love him on 3rd down and in the red zone. His blocking will need work but if the Bears ever wanted a viable pass catcher at that position, this is their guy.