Chicago Bears Draft: Bears Keying in on Alshon Jeffrey?

Patrick BouskyCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2012

Prior to the blockbuster trade in which the Chicago Bears acquired Pro-Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall, draft experts were in agreement that the Bears would be investing their first-round draft pick in a legitimate target for quarterback Jay Cutler.

As the draft nears, the need for a wide receiver has become a priority only second to the defensive end position.

That hasn't stopped the Bears from exploring other early options.

According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, the Bears have scheduled a private meeting with South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, a wide out that prior to the NFL combine was considered one of the top receivers in the draft.

Despite early indications that the Bears would be leaning towards an extremely defensive heavy draft, it appears the Bears could have serious interest in Jeffrey to pair alongside Marshall, if available in the second round of the draft.

Jeffrey rekindled interest from teams after his impressive pro day at the University of South Carolina where he posted 40-yard dash times of high 4.4 to low 4.5.

If Jeffrey is available to the Chicago Bears in the second round, he may be a viable option who could develop into a legitimate receiving threat with Marshall routinely requiring double teams.  

During his junior season, Jeffrey posted eye-popping stats of 1,517 and nine touchdowns on 88 receptions, though the following season he disappointed scouts with sub-par receiving stats (45 receptions, 614 yards, 7 TD).