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Wims hoping to build on impressive debut

Bears rookie receiver Javon Wims made the most of his expanded playing time in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game. But just like the rest of his young teammates, the seventh-round draft pick still has plenty of room for improvement.

Wims had a game-high seven receptions for 89 yards—all in the second half—in the Bears’ 17-16 preseason-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“He had some work on the inside during the game, and when you play on the inside during the game you’re going to get a lot more press [coverage] than usual,” coach Matt Nagy said Saturday in Bourbonnais. “I thought he did a good job with that. He did a good job using his size and he also did a good job using his release moves, so that was a positive. In regards to some details, he had some sloppy routes, too.

“The numbers speak for what he did with catching the ball. But as always there’s going to be some places he could get better, and that was true for him.”

At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Wims is bigger than most NFL slot receivers. But that’s where the Georgia product often lined up against the Ravens.

“It challenges me to be a little bit more quicker,” Wims said. “I have a plan, always. I can use my frame, so that’s a positive. But also it just challenges me to be versatile.”

Wims spent the past two seasons at Georgia. He appeared in 13 games with three starts in 2016, catching 17 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown.

Wims then blossomed last season, playing in all 15 games with 14 starts and helping the Bulldogs reach the FBS championship game by leading the team in all receiving categories with 45 receptions for 720 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wims is determined to make a similar impact with the Bears.

“I’m probably not the fastest guy or always the biggest guy or strongest guy,” he said. “But I just know I can make plays on the ball in this game.”

After leading the national runner-up Bulldogs in receiving last season, Wims is driven to show NFL teams that he should been chosen higher than the 224th pick in the seventh round of the draft.

“The [Bears] believed in me; that’s always a blessing,” Wims said. “I have a chip on my shoulder. But it’s a healthy thing. I want to go out here and prove people wrong.”

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