Breaking Down What Alshon Jeffery Brings to the Chicago Bears Offense

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 09: Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on August 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Broncos defeated the Bears 31-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Chicago Bears selected Alshon Jeffery in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, they were the only ones who believed they had landed a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. 

That bandwagon has grown exponentially. 

Jeffery fell in the draft because of character and weight concerns, but has already begun to make the other 31 teams in the NFL look foolish for passing on him. 

In his debut against the Indianapolis Colts, Jeffery caught three passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. The Colts defense is by no means an upper-echelon unit, but the debut is a great sign of the things to come from Jeffery in Chicago.

Here are four things that Jeffery brings to the Bears offense:



While there were concerns about Jeffery's conditioning coming out of college, he appears to be in tip-top shape, and it showed against the Colts. 

Jeffery is a massive target at 6'3" and 216 lbs and uses every ounce of his athleticism to beat the smaller corners covering him. Jamming him at the line is next to impossible, and with most defenses keying on Brandon Marshall, Jeffery can use his measurables to his advantage. 

His impressive size and physical play style also means Jeffery is outstanding in the running game, opening up lanes down the field should running back Matt Forte break into the second tier of the defense. 


Deep threat

When looking at Jeffery's physical traits, being a deep threat down the field was not exactly the first thing that came to mind. 

That all changed when Jeffery torched the Colts deep in Week 1 for a touchdown. 

The fact that Jeffery has the ability to stretch the field provides yet another deep-ball option for quarterback Jay Cutler

With the addition of Jeffery, along with Marshall and receiver Devin Hester, the Bears now have a variety of deep threats that can break a game open at a moment's notice. 


Pressure off the running game

The Bears stumbled to an 8-8 record last season, and part of the issue was the inconsistent running game. 

Forte is one of the best running backs in the league, but not when defenses can stack eight in the box thanks to a lack of legitimate receiving threats down the field. 

2012 is different. Chicago's trade for Marshall helped, but the addition of Jeffery put things over the top for the running game this season. 

Now that the Bears have two serious threats at wide receiver, Forte and Co. are going to see wide-open running lanes consistently because defenses can't afford to stack the box.

If they do, Marshall and Jeffery will make them pay every time. 


Consistent No. 2 option across from Marshall

In 2012 Jeffery is not going to receive a lot of attention from opposing defenses thanks to an elite running back in the aforementioned Forte and elite receiver Marshall. 

Jeffery will likely consistently see only single coverage, and he has the ability to take advantage of it on a consistent basis, as witnessed in the big win over Indianapolis in Week 1. 

If the running game is failing and Marshall is blanketed in double coverage, Jeffery will be called upon to make the tough grabs over the middle or deep, and he'll do just that.