The Bears gifted quarterback Justin Fields another deep threat when they selected speedy receiver Tyler Scott in the fourth round of the draft out of Cincinnati.
Timed at a blazing 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, Scott caught touchdown passes of 81 and 53 yards in 2021 and 41, 75, 61 and 76 yards in 2022 for the Bearcats.
It's no secret that Scott's ability to take the top off a defense seemingly meshes perfectly with Fields, who is known for his deep-ball accuracy.
"They brought me in because I have a skillset they like and I feel like I can bring to my table," Scott said last week during rookie minicamp. "A lot of people talk about my speed and my deep-threat ability. I know [Fields] likes to throw the ball pretty deep. So I'll just be another weapon. At the end of the day, it's my job to make his job easier and make him great. As one of my coaches said, 'put his name in the newspaper.'"
Scott has been reading about Fields in the newspaper for several years; an Ohio native, the rookie receiver kept close tabs on the Bears quarterback when Fields starred at Ohio State.
"I grew up an Ohio State fan, so I always had an eye for Ohio State," Scott said. "Even, if I'm being honest, when I was at Cincinnati I had an eye on Ohio State. I remember watching him and just how explosive he was and the playmaking ability he brought to the table."
Scott was happy to hear from Fields shortly after being picked by the Bears.
"He immediately hit me up after I got drafted," Scott said. "He DM'd me on Instagram and kind of introduced himself, so that was pretty cool. And then even when I came in [last week for rookie minicamp], I think they were finishing up a workout and he came up to me and introduced himself and said what's up."
Scott hopes to form a strong connection with Fields and continue to produce big plays with the Bears like the 5-11, 185-pounder did for the Bearcats.
"When I was at Cincinnati, that was kind of where I found my niche, that was my calling," he said. "I love just taking the top off being able to open up and run. That just opens up my underneath game. DBs get scared and that helps with the run game, that just helps with the underneath game, that just opens up so many things."
Scott appeared in 30 games over three seasons at Cincinnati, catching 87 passes for 1,439 yards and 14 touchdowns, an average of 16.5 yards per reception.
After playing running back throughout his career at Norton High School just outside Akron, he was switched to receiver upon arriving at Cincinnati in 2020.
Scott played sparingly while learning a new position as a freshman. He became a starter in 2021 on a Bearcats team that reached the College Football Playoff and then blossomed last year, earning second-team All-American Athletic Conference honors after establishing career highs in all receiving categories with 54 catches, 899 yards and nine TDs.
While Scott had to wait until Day 3 of the draft to be selected, he's determined not to let that stop him from succeeding in the NFL. He employed the same attitude when he didn't have any scholarship offers following his junior season in high school. At the time, Scott emailed his highlights to 15-20 college coaches and received only one reply—from Rutgers. It wasn't until later that Cincinnati made him an offer that he accepted.
"My hill might be a little steeper to climb," Scott said, "but my job [was] to get my foot in the door. That happened when I was in high school. When I was in high school, I was under-recruited. If I could get my foot in the door, I knew I could make the opportunity to play at the next level. I'm just carrying that same chip on my shoulder here."
63 players, including the Bears' 2023 draft class, were on the fields at Halas Hall this weekend for a pair of rookie minicamp practices.