Holding the 50th pick in the 2nd round of the NFL draft the Bears traded up five spots, giving up their fifth round selection, with the St. Louis Rams to draft wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (6’3”, 216), wide receiver from South Carolina.
The big bodied receiver declared for the draft after his junior season that ended with his ejection in arguably his best game as a Gamecock. Facing Nebraska in the Capitol One bowl and covered by top pro prospect in cornerback, Alfonzo Dennard. Jeffery had four receptions for 148 yards and a score before his ejection for fighting.
Jeffery burst onto the scene as a sophomore where he had 88 receptions for 1517 yards and nine touchdowns, but saw his numbers drop considerably after quarterback, Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the squad.
Jeffery’s junior numbers of 49 receptions for 762 yards and eight touchdowns reflect a change at quarterback and offensive shift to a more run oriented approach behind bruising tailback Marcus Lattimore.
Facing questions surrounding his weight which has been over 230 pounds during his final season kept Jeffery out of the first round, and didn’t endear himself to NFL scouts and GM’s after declining to participate in positional drills at February’s combine.
However, Jeffery found a semblance of redemption at South Carolina’s Pro Day when the receiver weighed in at 213 pounds while running a forty at 4.56 seconds.
Concerns over Jeffery’s weight and work ethic will surround him until he steps on the field as a rookie, but the quickest way to dispel those notions is to produce on the field.
With Brandon Marshall commanding double teams on one side and Earl Bennett working underneath routes, Jeffery will get his opportunities to contribute early and often in his rookie season.
After Jeffery was announced with the 45th pick in the Draft, chances are the second happiest person about the selection after the wideout himself, was the Bears quarterback who has a new toy to play with.
Jeffery should see plenty of red zone looks and jump ball opportunities where his imposing size will be a tremendous asset to the Bears aerial attack under Jay Cutler, who had been clamoring for a tall receiver since his arrival to Chicago three years ago.
The rookie wideout will look to prove 32 teams wrong for passing him in the first round and prove the skeptics wrong once he steps onto the field when training camp opens in July.
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Patrick is a diehard sports fan and former football player from Chicago, the greatest city in the world. The home of deep dish pizza, the greatest skyline in the world, and the best sports fans in America. Patrick has been a fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks since birth and is an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake Up Call”, a weekly sports show on www.Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here. To read more of Patrick’s blogs click here.