Already proud to be part of one football family, Bears fourth-round draft pick Riley Ridley is ecstatic about joining another in Chicago.
The receiver from Georgia, who is the younger brother of Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley, felt right at home during a pre-draft visit to Halas Hall.
“They want to treat it like you’re a family when you’re in Chicago with the Bears organization,” Ridley said during a conference call with reporters. “When I got there, that’s exactly how I felt. They treated me the right way.”
Ridley saw several familiar faces during his visit to Halas Hall. He played at Georgia with linebacker Roquan Smith and receiver Javon Wims—who were drafted in the first and seventh rounds last year, respectively—and also knows safety Eddie Jackson, who played with Calvin Ridley at Alabama.
Riley has remained especially close with Wims.
“Javon is my guy,” Ridley said. “I love him to death. The thing he told me about Chicago was that it’s home, but it’s work. Whenever you come here, you’ve got to be about business. You’ve got to be able to work, and you have fun. I can’t wait to get into those meeting rooms and see my guy and just get to work.”
During his pre-draft visit, Ridley met with Bears general manager Ryan Pace, coach Matt Nagy and receivers coach Mike Furrey, a former NFL player who apparently made quite an impression on the 22-year-old prospect.
“I sat down with him and I realized this is one of the coolest coaches I’ve ever met in my life,” Ridley said. “He was letting me know I could be on this team and I can be all-in and be able to find a chance to fight for a spot.”
Ridley declared for the draft after his junior season. In three years at Georgia, he caught 69 passes for 1,015 yards and 13 touchdowns in 28 games. Last year he established career highs with 14 games, 43 catches, 559 yards and nine TDs.
Ridley is excited to follow his older brother into the NFL. Calvin Ridley had 64 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns last year as a rookie with the Falcons after being selected by Atlanta with the 26th pick in the first round of the draft.
The two brothers watched the draft together with their mom Saturday in Palm Springs, Fla.
“It’s extremely incredible what the feeling is in my household right now,” Ridley said. “My brother is extremely happy. It’s incredible to see a smile on his face. My mom, I mean at this point right now, just to have two boys into the NFL, it’s incredible.”
Riley said that Calvin had good things to say about the Bears.
“He said you’re in the best organization that there could be,” Riley said. “He really believes that I can have a chance to go in and work my tail off and be able to be in the starting lineup or even a type of role on the team, and for me that’s what it’s all about, going in and just busting my tail and working as hard as I can for the organization.”