NFL

Mel Kiper joins the Bears and trades for Chase Claypool at the deadline

The Chicago Bears may have slipped up when Ryan Poles and the Bears’ front office traded the now No. 32 pick in the upcoming NFL draft for wide receiver Chase Claypool at the November trade deadline.

In 10 games with the Bears this season, Claypool recorded 14 short catches for 140 yards and showed no progress adjusting to Luke Getsy’s late-season offense.

Still, ESPN’s Mel Kiper believes the trade will benefit them in the long run.

“Claypool is a solid player,” Kiper said on ESPN’s Waddle & Silvy. “I think it was a trade that should benefit them and will benefit them going forward.”

When they traded their pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Claypool, the Bears hypothetically traded the No. 32 pick, given that the Miami Dolphins were forced to forfeit their first-round pick for tampering.

Claypool finished its third year in the league this past season.

His first two seasons in Pittsburgh can be described as successful, considering he has seen passes from four different quarterbacks over 2.5 seasons. He recorded two seasons of over 800 receiving yards and caught nine touchdowns in his rookie season alone.

Out of Notre Dame, Kiper was a fan of Claypool’s.

“I thought he was a big body that would get to the football, win contested throws,” Kiper said. “Be a little bit more than just the guy you could count on, just to be the possession guy. He could make some plays.”

Although the Bears did, on a technicality, give up a first-round pick for Claypool, that doesn’t deter Kiper about Clauypool’s potential, as the trade-off for a late-first-round wide receiver doesn’t outweigh Claypool’s skill set.

“Which receiver is better than Claypool right now?” Kiper asked.

It feels like that question shouldn’t be rhetorical – given Claypool’s last 10 games. Next season’s games will give Bears fans a better chance to answer that question.

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