Top 5 most important Chicago Bears in 2024: No. 2 DJ Moore

Moore led Bears with 1,364 receiving yards in 2023

Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore gets behind the Detroit Lion secondary and catches a touchdown pass during their game Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Bears training camp is only a week away. Veteran players report for camp July 19, and practices begin July 20. The much-anticipated 2024 season is nearly here.

This week, Shaw Local is counting down the five most important Bears players in 2024. What makes one player more important than another? That’s subjective, of course. But for our purposes it comes down to this: Are the Bears worse off if this player can’t play? Does this player have untapped potential or past greatness to live up to? Is his story going to be one fans follow closely this season?

The best player on the team isn’t always the most important, but he certainly can be.

Here’s a look at No. 2 on the list. Check back Friday for the No. 1 most important Bears player.

No. 2 DJ Moore

Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore looks to get by Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II during their game Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Position: Wide receiver

Experience: Seventh season

Looking back: When the Bears traded the No. 1 overall draft pick in March 2023, receiver DJ Moore was the only sure thing about the deal. General manager Ryan Poles insisted that Moore be a part of the deal, and the star receiver was an instant-impact talent for the Bears in 2023. Using draft picks acquired in that deal, the Bears also drafted right tackle Darnell Wright, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and quarterback Caleb Williams, plus they hold Carolina’s 2025 second-round pick.

Moore put together one of the best receiving seasons in Bears history last year. He played all 17 games and totaled 96 receptions for 1,364 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He also added one rushing touchdown. It was the fourth-highest single-season receiving yardage total for a Bears player in the organization’s 104-year history. And it came on a team that ranked 27th in the league in passing yards.

Moore’s 230-yard performance against Washington in Week 5 was the second-most receiving yards ever by a Bears player in a single game. He scored three touchdowns that night and helped the Bears break a 14-game losing streak.

Moore finished sixth in the NFL in receiving yards and was one of the top receivers snubbed when the Pro Bowl selections were announced. The 27-year-old is still looking for his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Looking forward: Last season, Moore had to carry much of the weight for the Bears’ passing attack. Former Bears receiver Darnell Mooney largely disappeared, and no reliable third option emerged at the position.

That shouldn’t be the case in 2024. The Bears traded for Keenan Allen and drafted Rome Odunze with the No. 9 overall pick. Pairing Moore with Allen should give the Bears an elite one-two punch of veteran receivers. Odunze has high upside, but still has much to prove at the NFL level.

With Williams at quarterback and a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron, the hope is that the Bears will have a much more successful passing attack in 2024. If Williams is going to have a successful rookie season, Moore will likely become his best friend on the field. Allen’s presence might take some receiving yards away from Moore, but it doesn’t necessarily have to if the passing attack produces more yards overall.

Moore hasn’t missed a game since 2020. The Bears need that good luck to hold up, especially when they probably expect the 32-year-old Allen to miss a game here or there. Moore was ultra-reliable last year, and he was present for all of the OTA practices this spring. Building a rapport with Williams was a top priority.

Moore was among the best receivers in producing yards after the catch in 2023. If Williams can simply get him the ball, he will find running lanes in traffic. The Bears might have a much-improved trio of starting receivers, but Moore remains the No. 1 option. The Bears need Moore to keep playing at the top of his game.

If he does, he just might land that first Pro Bowl nod.

Previous installments of the top five most important Bears

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.