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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)—A trade for Brandon Marshall and the addition of free agents Eric Weems and Devin Thomas did not stop the Chicago Bears from trying to provide quarterback Jay Cutler with more weapons.
The Bears traded up in the second round Friday, dealing away their second-round pick (50th) overall and fifth-rounder (150th) for the St. Louis Rams’ second-round pick (45th) in order to draft South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
The 6-foot-3 Jeffery’s weight had ballooned during the pre-draft process and he has played at over 230 pounds before, but said he is now in good shape at 212 pounds.
“Whatever coach tells me, I want to be 215 and anywhere from there and between (to) 220,” he said. “I’m happy with that.”
Jeffery had 3,042 receiving yards for his career, making him one of only three Southeast Conference receivers to go over 3,000 yards. He had 1,517 receiving yards as a sophomore in 2010, but just 762 last year.
“We thought that if teams were going to double- and triple-team (receivers) and give us the run … we thought we’d run the ball a lot more and that would win the most games,” Jeffery said. “I mean, we won 11 games. … We broke the school record. It worked out for us.”
Jeffery also has been mentioned as lacking discipline and was tossed out of last season’s Capital One Bowl for fighting, but he also was a team captain.
“I would say I’ve got a great work ethic,” he said. “I’m a competitor.”
The Bears had worked out Jeffery during a visit to Halas Hall.
Jeffery gives the Bears two tall receivers, with Marshall at 6-4. Last year, the Bears had no wide receivers with more than three touchdown catches.
“Brandon Marshall is a great receiver,” Jeffery said. “I mean, I’ve heard a lot about him. He’s a great player and I’ve watched him.”
The Bears opened the draft Thursday by picking defensive end Shea McClellin of Boise State with the 19th overall selection.
Chicago went 8-8 last season. Jay Cutler broke his right thumb trying to make a tackle in the 10th game and things unraveled from there.
General manager Jerry Angelo lost his job and offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterbacks coach Shane Day are both gone. Offensive line coach Mike Tice is the new coordinator following a promotion.
New GM Phil Emery added special teams star Weems, with Johnny Knox’s status uncertain because of a back injury.
The Bears also had a pick in the third round Friday at No. 17, the 79th overall.
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