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Bears no longer undervaluing WR position under Emery

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

For years, the Bears were pummeled for not doing enough to improve their collection of pass catchers and failing to give their quarterbacks a quality receiving corps.

New GM Phil Emery is not going to open himself up to the same line of attack his predecessor Jerry Angelo faced.

After trading to acquire WR Brandon Marshall in March, the Bears drafted South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery on Friday with their second pick in the draft. Emery moved up five spots to be in position to take Jeffery, trading a fifth-round pick (No. 150 overall) to the Rams to move up five slots in the second round and add another target for QB Jay Cutler with the 45th overall selection.

Jeffery comes with some red flags. His effort in college was inconsistent, his weight has fluctuated, ballooning at times, and he’s going to have be a more disciplined player to make it as a pro.

He has great size and is tough, though. PFW draft expert Nolan Nawrocki said Jeffery is “one of the best receivers in the draft playing the ball in the air.” He doesn’t have elite explosiveness, but will be, at worst, a solid possession receiver if he stays focused.

With WR Johnny Knox’s status in doubt coming off back surgery, WR Devin Hester having proved he’s not a reliable option and WR Earl Bennett fitting best as a No. 3 receiver in the slot, the Bears had a need for a No. 2 to complement Marshall.

Jeffery has the potential to be that, and more. But he also is going to have to prove he’s willing to work for it.

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