CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a first down catch against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Johnny Knox
In just his second year in the NFL, Johnny Knox made a huge leap, becoming the go-to receiver for breathtaking, long passes from Jay Cutler's strong arm. He averaged 18.8 yards per catch, and was a huge reason the Bears offense clicked when it did.
What he does well: Knox is incredibly skilled at hauling in long passes. His speed allows him to get downfield quickly, and he's able to catch Cutler's passes while not having to slow down. He had a particularly memorable game against the Jets, getting two touchdowns in the third quarter. His second TD in that game showed presence of mind, as he reached out to get the ball past the pylon, despite getting thrown out of bounds.
He also showed adequate run blocking, opening up holes when Matt Forte needed them, and his mutton chops deserve an award.
What he needs to improve on: Now that Knox has shown that he can catch the long passes, he needs to grow beyond just catching passes. Cutler's passes to Knox are high risk, high reward. When they don't work out, Knox hasn't been able to simply bat away the ball instead of giving up the interception. Any good wide receiver should be able to turn into a defensive back when they've given up an interception.
Knox has his problems, but he is young and full of potential. He has plenty of time to grow into Chicago's No. 1 receiver.