This is definitely a new NFL. The days when it took a wide receiver two to four years to develop are a distant memory. Today’s wide receivers are more more likely to make an impact in their rookie season. Can Chicago’s Alshon Jeffery be one of the latest rookie WRs to leave a mark?
There are plenty of factors that work in his favor.
For starters, Jeffery will be playing with a legitimate quarterback. The Bears of yesteryear have typically had middle-of-the-road quarterback play at best. Speaking of ability alone, Jay Cutler is easily one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. He has a cannon for an arm and can make throws that only a handful of QBs could only hope to.
Where Cutler has lacked is in decision making. His arm is so good that he isn’t afraid to try and fit the football in the tightest of places. Part of the problem, though, has been a lack of weapons. Sure, Matt Forte is a beast at running back, but he lacked playmakers on the outside. Not any more.
Chicago brought in Brandon Marshall, who is a legitimate No. 1 receiver and has a history of success with Cutler dating back to their Denver days. While he doesn’t always make the best decisions, Marshall’s (along with Forte's) presence will make life easier for Alshon.
Jeffrey is a big kid at 6’3″, 216 pounds. Given the Bears' stable of wide receivers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jeffrey playing plenty opposite of Marshall. Plus, given his size, Jeffrey could be quite active in the red zone.
Jeffrey is tracking at the 67th wide receiver taken according to Mock Draft Central. That puts him as a WR6 in 12-team fantasy leagues. While I wouldn’t want him as my primary backup, let alone starting fantasy WR, he is worth considering for WR depth.
Keep an eye on him during the preseason, and consider him in your fantasy drafts.
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