As long as we're on the topic of 2013 breakout candidates, I present to you Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery . It is the job of new wide receivers coach Mike Groh to mold Bears wideouts not named Brandon Marshall in order to make their passing game more balanced this season. And his work begins with Jeffery.
"I'll say this about Alshon: He's really invested," Groh said recently to the Chicago Tribune. "I have seen improvement in the very short time I have been able to work with him. He certainly has tremendous potential."
Jeffery, a 2012 second-round pick, caught 24 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns last year, but he also missed six games due to knee and thumb injuries. He finished with fewer than 60 yards in all but two games.
There are reasons to like Jeffery: He's big and tall, and he has the physical abilities to work well both in the red zone and down the field. He is going to start for the Bears, and like many of his offensive teammates, he stands to really benefit from Marc Trestman's offense.
However, I tend to shy away from Jeffery because I am just not a Jay Cutler fan, and he didn't really prove anything as a rookie. But Jeffery is being drafted as a WR5 right now, so there is much more reward than risk here.
A more-balanced passing attack will obviously cut into Marshall's overall numbers, but don't worry much about that. He is still a top-five WR.