When Chase Claypool arrived in Chicago via trade last season, the Bears desperately needed help at wide receiver. The only real threats in the passing game at the time were Darnell Mooney and tight end Cole Kmet.
Claypool was acquired for a second-round pick, so one figured the Bears had some pretty big plans for him the rest of the way. Instead, Claypool played only 31% of offensive snaps in his first game, 42% in his second game, and did not top 70% in any game until the final week of the regular season, which Fields sat out with an injury. Claypool also missed two games with an injury of his own, and he sputtered to just 14 receptions for 140 yards and zero scores across his seven games with the Bears.
This offseason, Chicago brought in another wideout ahead of him, acquiring D.J. Moore from the Panthers in the trade down from No. 1 overall to No. 9, where the Bears selected tackle Darnell Wright. Now, Claypool is at best the second receiver on the depth chart, and more likely third. Still, Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy likes what he has seen from Claypool this offseason, and thinks he is developing better chemistry with Fields because he's been able to work with him more often.
"I think comfortability within the building, whether that's being around the head coach, being around us on the offensive staff, his teammates. And then, most importantly, Justin. I think that relationship is always the most important — the quarterback/receiver relationship. I think all that's improving. As far as his knowledge of what's going on around him, that's improving," Getsy said, per NBC Sports Chicago. "To say where he is now, obviously, he's definitely in a much better place. That's what's most important. Like [head coach Matt Eberflus] and those guys have said, I think that his positivity, his optimism coming into this thing, and his attack and his approach to how he's trying to learn this thing is really cool to see."
Claypool figures to see a bunch of work out of the slot, and possibly as a jet-sweep hand-off guy as well. He is a much bigger player than either Moore and Mooney, but he hasn't always played to his size. If he can take advantage of his physical gifts more regularly, perhaps he can recapture some of what made him such a dynamic threat earlier in his career with the Steelers.