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Second-Round Pick Outperformed Most of His Draft Class

The Bears have begun seriously shopping around Anthony Miller according to a report, as they try to clear the way for a possible draft pick at slot receiver

The Bears apparently have found someone who might be willing to take wide receiver Anthony Miller in a trade.

A number of different teams have talked with the Bears about Miller, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, but he didn't mention a team or if this is a deal happening soon or possibly draft day.

It was suggested in several reports earlier this offseason that the Bears were looking at this possibility. Part of it could have to do with the fight he was involved in with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the Bears-Saints playoff game.

The Bears do not have a fourth-round pick this year and with four or five needs going into the draft, an extra pick early on Day 3 could be valued.

Miller is a 2018 second-round pick out of Memphis and the Bears traded up with New England to take him 51st overall, surrendering a 2019 second-round pick and the 105th pick of 2018 in exchange. Miller hasn't had terrible production numbers compared to many receivers, so he may bring back a decent draft pick in return. His problem has been consistency.

Miller made 49 catches last season, down by three from his career-high total of 2019.

There were 34 wide receivers drafted in 2018 and Miller was the sixth one chosen. He has made the sixth most receptions (134) and sixth most touchdown catches (11) of that draft class.

D.J. Moore (208), Calvin Ridley (217), Christian Kirk (159), DJ Chark (140) and Michael Gallup (158) are the only ones with more catches than Miller from that class, and Moore, Ridley and Kirk are the only ones chosen above him in the draft from that group. Miller is seventh in receiving yardage from that class (1,564).

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Typical of the inconsistency troubles was the start of last season when Miller had the game-winning touchdown receptions against Detroit and Atlanta in Weeks 1 and 3, but in Week 2 against the Giants he went without a reception.

Miller went into a slump toward the end of last season. He made seven catches for 52 yards over the last four games. His last TD catch was the Week 3 TD to beat the Falcons.

At various times the past two years it's neen suggested by coaches that Miller needs to be more involved in the playbook.

Receivers coach Mike Furrey lauded Miller's run blocking at the end of the regular season but noted his receiving contributions had been hit-or-miss, and that he often has been better when they plan to get him a touch early in the game.

"Anthony's one of those guys, just like a lot of guys in this NFL, where when you're involved in the game, your skill-set shows how high of a skill-set you really have," Furrey said.

The fight against the Saints was devastating for the Bears' chances because they were without injured Darnell Mooney already, and with Miller ejected from the game they were forced to rely on waiver wire pickup DeAndre Carter — the punt returner. He had been with the team only five weeks and his practice time was focused largely on returns.

It was also big because Miller was the one during week prior to the game who had been telling media members they didn't need to get involved in any post-play theatrics with Gardner-Johnson because his bark was worse than his bite.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven