The Chicago Bears used their second round pick in this year's draft to select wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. It's fair to say that he has probably exceeded expectations and has been solid number two wide-out alongside Brandon Marshall.
Unfortunately, Jeffery looks set to miss up to six weeks of action after fracturing his hand against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Up to that point the rookie out of South Carolina had been an integral part of a re-emerging Bears offense- but has he been the best rookie wide receiver in the NFL this year? Let's take a look.
Here is a list, in order, of all the receivers that were chosen ahead of Alshon Jeffery in this year's draft:
Justin Blackmon - Jaguars
Michael Floyd - Cardinals
Kendall Wright - Titans
A.J Jenkins - 49ers
Brian Quick - Rams
Stephen Hill = Jets
I think, given the fact that he was a second round pick, Jeffery has proven himself to be good value, and has performed the best out of those players mentioned above
For example, Justin Blackmon was chosen fifth overall, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say he's been a disappointment for the Jaguars so far. Granted, they are not the most potent offense and Blaine Gabbert doesn't light up the scoreboard, but Blackmon has averaged nine yards per catch and hasn't found the end zone once.
There was a time when Michael Floyd's name was linked with the Bears prior to draft day. But I for one am glad Phil Emery and Co. went with Jeffery. The Cardinals rookie has just six receptions for 60 yards and just one touchdown.
The one player who would possibly be in line to challenge Jeffery as the top performing rookie WR would be Kendall Wright of the Titans. Chosen 20th overall, Wright has a team high 27 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, fellow Titans receiver Kenny Britt has been battling injuries, but Wright looks set to be one to watch for the future.
Now, they say that receivers only really come into their own once they enter their third year in the league, so I wouldn't be worrying too much about these players. But the Bears can feel more than happy that Jeffery has stepped in and secured himself as the number two receiver on the team. I think his injury will affect the team, but hopefully a combination of Earl Bennett, Devin Hester and others can fill the gap.
Here's the complete stats on the rookie wide receivers for those keeping score -What do you think?