Chicago Bears General Manager and true definition of the Peter Principal Phil Emery spent day two making a splash in the second round trading up (costing the Bears their fifth-round selection to the St. Louis Rams) for South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and drafting Oregon State’s Brandon Hardin with his third round selection. The day before, the Chicago Bears selected defensive end Shea McClellin out of Boise State in the first round.
Jeffrey was considered one of the nation’s top receivers after his sophomore year (2010) but struggled with his weight and production last season. Emery admitted that Jeffrey became disgruntled when Gamecock’s quarterback Stephen Garcia was thrown off the team after countless issues off the field. Jeffrey has shown an ability to make tough catches, but the falloff in production and issues with the team buffet cannot be ignored. Plus with the suggestion he struggled with the loss of Garcia; is there a potential attitude problem brewing?
Jeffrey has been compared to Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints with his size and ability to make catches in the red zone. With Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throwing him the ball, this could be a solid marriage for the Bears. But considering that Roy Williams came into camp last season out-of-shape and never found his groove with the Bears, will we see the same thing from Jeffrey?
Emery regularly suggested that Hardin is a big-body that will be an immediate contributor on special teams and may eventually become one of the team’s starting safeties. While the Chicago Bears love Hardin’s size, his inability to stay healthy fits right in the mold with the other oft-injured members of the Bears secondary. Interestingly enough, the Bears selected safeties in the last two drafts during the third-round with Florida’s Major Wright in 2010 and Cal’s Chris Conte in 2011. While Wright has been consistently crappy, Conte showed some promise in his role. It is obviously not Emery’s fault that Danieal Manning was allowed to walk last season, it is his job to improve a terrible secondary. If Hardin can stay healthy, perhaps he’s the answer…I’ll keep my fingers crossed. But Emery sees Hardin as a project and think the Bears needed someone that can contribute immediately.
Today the Bears finish their draft with selections in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds.
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