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Bears trade up to select receiver Mooney


The Bears made their second trade on Day 3 of the NFL Draft Saturday, moving up to select Tulane receiver Darnell Mooney with the 173rd pick in the fifth round.

The Bears obtained the selection along with a seventh-rounder (No. 227) from the Eagles in exchange for two picks in the sixth round (Nos. 196 and 200) and one in the seventh (No. 233). The 200th choice was the one the Bears had obtained from Philadelphia for running back Jordan Howard.

A four-year starter at Tulane, Mooney played in 49 games and caught 151 passes for 2,529 yards and 19 touchdowns with a long reception of 86 yards. He had a breakout junior season in 2018, catching 48 passes for 993 yards and eight TDs. He followed last year with 45 receptions for 670 yards and five TDs.

Mooney ran a 4.38 in the 40 at the NFL Combine, tied for the fifth fastest among all prospects. He wasn't surprised by his time.

"It was expected," he said during a conference call with the media. "I feel like I'm a fast guy. It was just what the other guys were trying to see. I mean, once I ran it I felt pretty good about it. I feel like I could have run faster when I got done. But it's all good and I had a good score."

While Mooney views his speed as "definitely a plus in my game," he doesn't necessarily consider it his greatest strength as a receiver.

"I think of myself more as a route-runner and having my speed is just a bonus," Mooney said. "It helps me out and is a great advantage against other guys."

Mooney credits Tulane receivers coach Jeff Conway with helping him develop his route-running ability.

Mooney is only 5-11 and 174 pounds, but he doesn't look at his small stature as a disadvantage.

"I played bigger than my size," Mooney said. "I don't have a problem with doing anything like either blocking someone like a linebacker or a safety, regardless of who it is. I don't really think about my size as a problem."

With NFL facilities closed due to the coronavirus, Mooney intends to reach out to his new Bears teammates and get his playbook as soon as possible so he can begin learning the offense. He's been staying in shape by running four miles a day, doing pushups and sit-ups, and working out in a weight room at a friend's house.

Mooney wasn't highly recruited coming out of Gadsen City High School in Alabama and continues to embrace an underdog mentality as he prepares to begin his NFL career.

"Same thing over and over; I've just got to prove myself," Mooney said. "I've been living through heart all my life, so I don't expect it to change. Just know as soon as I get in, I'm going to make a lot of noise and there are going to be some things to talk about in the future."

With the 173rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears select WR Darnell Mooney

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