Bears: Why Anthony Miller is poised for a breakout season

Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have a bonafide top-target in Allen Robinson, but third-year receiver Anthony Miller is primed for a breakout season in 2020…

From a former walk-on to an All-American, Anthony Miller has been through it all. In each and everything Miller does, he does it with that “Memphis grit.” Now entering his third-season with the Chicago Bears, the former second-round draft pick is in a very advantageous position entering the 2020 NFL season.

In my opinion, I thought it was absurd that Miller fell to the second-round of the draft in 2018. Yes, I understand that the Tennessee native would already eclipse 24-years of age during his rookie year, but I thought the backstory of why Anthony was still playing for Memphis when he was would wipe away any skepticism surrounding his age.

Turns out I was wrong — Miller fell to pick number 51 overall.

To put it bluntly, I thought Ryan Pace had gotten an absolute steal. On tape, Miller was the best player for that Memphis Tigers football team. Miller continually racked up yards after the catch, ran crisp routes, displayed a natural catching ability and maybe my favorite of all, had a fiery passion for the game that was evident every time he stepped on to the field.

Fast forward to today, as long as Miller’s shoulder is healed in time for the opener, I would imagine that #17 will start opposite of Pro Bowl receiver, Allen Robinson. With Robinson seeing the majority of opposing teams top corners, Miller will get the opportunity to exploit many single-coverage looks.

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After a successful rookie campaign, Miller road the rollercoaster of productivity during his sophomore season. However, I would argue that the regression in touchdown production could be attributed more so to the Bears offense as a whole rather than Miller individually.

Now, entering his third-season I believe that Anthony Miller is ready to take the league by storm. Why do I say that? Well, besides the Bears adding a veteran passer in Nick Foles, besides the volume of targets that will be available due to the loss of Taylor Gabriel and besides the improvements in play calling that Head Coach, Matt Nagy swears by.

It’s simple — Wide receivers historically breakout in year-three. To drive home my point further, why don’t we take a look at some receivers who really came into their own during their third season:

  • Chris Godwin: 86 Receptions | 1,341 Total Yards | 9 Total Touchdowns
  • Mike WIlliams: 49 Receptions | 1,003 Total Yards | 2 Total Touchdowns
  • Kenny Golladay: 65 Receptions | 1,190 Total Yards | 11 Total Touchdowns
  • Cooper Kupp: 94 Receptions | 1,165 Total Yards | 10 Total Touchdowns

What do all of these receivers have in common with Miller? They all had a running mate. For every Chris Godwin there’s a Mike Evans. Just like how for every Mike Williams there will be a Keenan Allen. Anthony Miller and Allen Robinson perfectly align with this ideology.

Anthony Miller will be entering this coming season with full knowledge of Matt Nagy’s playbook, route concepts & the perfect “dynamic duo” partner in Allen Robinson. Couple that with the fact that Miller should be getting a large volume of looks from a poised Nick Foles, and I’d say you better make Anthony Miller a top-target for your fantasy team this season.

When Miller was just a prospect coming out of Memphis, he was compared to Doug Baldwin by the creator of “Reception Perception,” Matt Harmon. I think we can all remember just the type of “dog” mentality that Baldwin played with during his time in Seattle.

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Safe to say, I think that we’ll absolutely see that same type of mentality demonstrated by Anthony during this coming Bears season. As outlined in ink on the Memphis product’s back, it just may finally be “Miller Time” in 2020…