Bears make move to catch Jeffery

Chicago willing to deal picks for USC’s all-time leading receiver

jkendall@thestate.comApril 27, 2012 

USC's Alshon Jeffery is one of the country's best receivers.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Not everyone likes what they see out of Alshon Jeffery, but the Chicago Bears do.

Chicago gave up a fifth round pick Friday night in order to move up five places in the draft and take Jeffery, South Carolina’s all-time leading receiver, with the 13th pick of the second round (45th overall). Jeffery became the third South Carolina player drafted this year, joining cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive end Melvin Ingram, who were selected in the first round Thursday night.

“A lot of people thought coming off his (sophomore) year he was going to be a high first round pick,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said of Jeffery. “The biggest issue is his weight. He played between 230 and 240 pounds this year. He got down to 213 for his pro day and ran very well. A lot of people thought that would elevate his draft status. I did not because the question is, which kid are you getting? Are you getting the 213-pound kid or the 230-pound kid after you hand him a bunch of money?”

ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Jon Gruden also had less than flattering things to say about Jeffery when he was selected, and the St. Matthews native was questioned about his work ethic during a conference call with Chicago media Friday night.

“I have a great work ethic,” Jeffery said, according to Sean Jensen of Sulia.com. “When I get to Chicago, I think you’ll see first hand. I’m a competitor. I just love making plays.”

In Chicago, Jeffery will be paired with wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

“I look forward to being on the team with all the guys,” Jeffery told ChicagoBears.com. “Brandon Marshall is a great receiver. I’ve heard a lot about him. He’s a great player. I’ve watched him. He’s worked hard. He does all the right things.”

Jeffery, who could not be reached by The State for comment, compiled 3,042 yards (the second best total in SEC history) in three years with the Gamecocks. He scored 23 touchdowns and had 12 100-yard receiving games (also a school record). In his final collegiate game, he had four catches for 148 yards before being ejected from the game. He left South Carolina with one year of eligibility remaining.

Several more Gamecocks hope to hear their names called Saturday when rounds four through seven are held.

Safety Antonio Allen is expected to be picked in the fourth or fifth round. Defensive lineman Travian Robertson, offensive linemen Rokevious Watkins, Kyle Nunn and Terrence Campbell, wide receiver Jason Barnes, quarterback Stephen Garcia and cornerback Marty Markett and C.C. Whitlock also worked out at South Carolina’s pro day.

Columbia native Brian Quick, a wide receiver who played only one year of football at Ridge View High School before a record-setting career at Appalachian State, was drafted with the first pick of the second round, No. 33 overall.

The Associated Press contributed

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