Then, they selected a safety in Brandon Hardin from Oregon State in the third round.
Jeffery was ranked in the top three receivers in the draft by the Bears and at the time was the highest rated player on GM Phil Emery’s board with the 45th selection.
The Bears sent their fifth round pick (150th overall) and their second round pick (50th overall) to move up to the 45th spot.
Jeffery ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
“We feel that Alshon has the best hands in the draft,” Emery said (via ChicagoBears.com). “We feel that he is the best at adjusting to the ball. We feel he is the best sideline and end zone catcher in the draft. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s a big man. He’s strong. He’s tough. He doesn’t go down without a fight.”
In three seasons, Jeffery appeared in 40 games making 183 catches for 3,042 yards and 23 touchdowns.
At 6’3″, 216 lbs Jeffery now pairs with 6’4″ Brandon Marshall to form a dynamic wide receiving core that also includes Earl Bennett and Devin Hester.
Many think the pick is risky considering his work ethic and his dip in production this past season (49 receptions, 762 yards and eight TD’s).
The move makes too much sense considering how much potential Jeffery has on the field. Jeffery will wear the #17 jersey with the Bears.
The Bears third round pick Brandon Hardin is a whole different creature. He is very similar to last year’s third round pick Chris Conte out of Cal.
Hardin made 105 tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 38 games at Oregon State. He spent all 38 of those games at the cornerback position.
He sat out last season with a broken shoulder, but the Bears were really high on his abilities as a safety.
Hardin is 6’3″, 222 lbs and ran a 4.43 at his Pro Day. GM Phil Emery envisions him being used as a strong safety in the Bears defensive scheme.
Switching from cornerback to safety can tend to be a tough transition, but Chris Conte did a solid job at doing just that in a shortened off-season.
The Bears have drafted by need in these first three rounds, adding a DE, WR and S. GM Phil Emery has really added some serious potential to this veteran Bears squad.
With three picks remaining (fourth round, sixth round, seventh round) look for the Bears to add an offensive tackle, defensive tackle and possibly a tight end or cornerback.