In the three years since the Chicago offense was laughable thanks to a reeled-in, conservative gameplan under the order of coach John Fox. Hes since been canned, fresh offensive thinker Matt Nagy is his replacement, and now the squad hopes Allen Robinson can do what Jeffery did in 2014 as the No. 1 receiver patrolling the outside.
Based on opportunity, Robinson should do okay. Based on downside and a lack of efficiency, Robinsons most realistic projection shows him falling short of 1,000 yards.
Chicagos offense figures to go the way of Philadelphias – more aggressive and less identifiable. A healthy mix of Nagys West Coast offense and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrichs spread offense (just like the one Trubisky ran at North Carolina) should keep defenses on their toes. But it will also lead to Trubisky dialing up passes for several different players. Robinson might get more targets than his teammates, but new tight end Trey Burton, second-year burner Tarik Cohen, reliable receiver Cameron Meredith (whos coming off a torn ACL himself) and tight end Adam Shaheen, a physical beast, are certain to be regulars. Trubisky also has a tendency going back to his collegiate days to lean on the slot, a place where Robinson lined up just 17 percent of the time in 2015 and 2016.
Considering the Bears wide receiver corps last year, does it really matter? Either player would be a huge upgrade. Robinson arguably has the higher ceiling, but also is the higher risk, coming off a torn ACL. At least Ryan Pace is in a little better position to roll the dice.
It likely makes the 9.4 targets per game Robinson averaged with the Jaguars in 2015 and 2016 unattainable. But he shouldnt fall too far from it – an 8.0 per game target average would put him on pace for 126 throws over 16 games.
Robinsons catch rate is another concern. That number in Jacksonville was 52.6 percent, though to be fair that was with Blake Bortles. Trubisky should be at the very least a small upgrade at quarterback for Robinson, pushing the receivers projected catch rate up. Even if it jumped to 55 percent, it means 70 catches for Chicagos newest Bear. Good, but not great.
The biggest issue is his receiving average. Robinson nailed down 1,400 yards in 2015 thanks to 17.5 yards per catch. Throwing out his one-game, three-catch 2017 “season,” Robinson has had under 15 yards per catch in every other campaign hes played going back to his last two years at Penn State. His speed could also be affected by his ACL injury, though thats a factor we wont know for several months. A projection of 13.0 yards per catch might be considered generous, but were putting some faith in Nagys playcalling and Trubiskys ability to make it happen.
We saw Robinson score 14 times in 2015… and just six in 2016. While that kind of inconsistency might lead to heartburn, it should please you to know that 18 of Robinsons 20 touchdowns were red-zone grabs. His elite-trait route-running ability combined with a more accurate passer should result in a good dose of scores. Six seems low and eight (one every two games) seems high, so well settle on seven.
Early projection: 126 targets, 70 receptions, 910 yards, seven touchdowns.
Mark Potash: Bears free agency review — Allen Robinson or Sammy Watkins?
The yardage and touchdown totals would put him close to the stats JuJu Smith-Schuster had in 2017. He finished as the No. 18 receiver in non-PPR Fantasy leagues with 126 points. If we were to add 70 points to that tally then the 196 points would result in a finish akin to Mike Evans 20th-ranked finish in 2017.
Allen Robinson signs to become the highest-paid Nittany Lion ever
What does it mean? Robinson should be drafted as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver. Round 5 in non-PPR and late Round 4 in PPR formats should do the trick.
If he goes before then, its because someones buying into him being closer to that 2015 form that put him on the Fantasy map in the first place. Just remember, hes had a down year, an ACL tear and a new contract from a new team since then. Given those facts, it might be too big a leap of faith to count on a huge year for Robinson.
A new friend: Get acquainted with Allen Robinson with the help of Big Cat Country
Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that sites first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning… Full Bio
Allen Robinson is on his way to Chicago, but another Jaguars wide receiver will be staying in Jacksonville.
Allen Robinson is already repping Chicago
According to multiple reports, Marqise Lee will sign a new deal with the Jaguars ahead of the official start of free agency on Wednesday.
Lee joined Robinson as a second-round pick in 2014 and got off to a slower start than his teammate while missing nine games over his first two seasons. Lee’s productivity has picked up over the last two years, however, and he led the team with 56 catches during the 2017 season. He added seven catches for 69 yards in the postseason.
Bears expected to sign wide receiver Allen Robinson
Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Allen Hurns are also under contract at receiver for the Jaguars,