The Chicago Bears got aggressive in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The club traded its fifth round pick in this year's draft to the St. Louis Rams to move up five spots in the second round. The team then selected South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Jeffery (6-3, 216) is a big-bodied wideout who excels in jump ball situations. He's a raw player with plenty of question marks but he'll serve as a competent red zone target from Day 1.
As a sophomore, Jeffery set single-season school records in both receptions (88) and receiving yards (1,517), and led the SEC in receiving yards per game (108.4) and was second in receptions per game (6.29). His numbers fell as a junior but that was due mainly to poor quarterback play.
For his three-year collegiate career, Jeffery had 179 receptions for 2,894 yards (16.2 per catch) and 22 touchdowns.
Jeffery quieted questions about his bloated weight – which many believed to be near the 240 range his junior season – by showing up to the NFL Scouting Combine at 216 pounds. Yet he chose not to participate in any of the drills. Instead, he waited until his pro day to workout in front of scouts. He reportedly ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, had a 36.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-2 broad jump.
The Bears now have a complement to Brandon Marshall, whom the team acquired via trade this offseason. With Earl Bennett in the slot, and Devin Hester as the team's fourth wideout, Chicago's passing attack is all of the sudden borderline formidable.
The biggest question surrounding Jeffery is his inability to separate from defenders. On film, he often struggled in and out of his breaks, looking somewhat ponderous in the process. His game is raw though and some work with Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake will do him wonders.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.