Alshon Jeffery: It’s Happening, Y’all
From SBNation’s Windy City Gridiron:
It’s no surprise that Marc Trestman loves the slant – it was his go-to move both as an NFL offensive coordinator and a CFL head coach. The real surprise is how big of a step Alshon Jeffery appears to have taken this off-season. After a middling 2012 season, Jeffery has stepped into the role of #2 WR quite nicely. On this one of his seven receptions against the Raiders, Jeffery proved that Phil Emery was right to trade up and grab the WR in the second round last season.
Look to see a lot of these three-receiver patterns in the regular season. This one is nothing special, which is not surprising given that Trestman has openly declared he’s saving the good stuff for the regular season.
My guy Coleman Kelly already broke this down perfectly in Alshon Jeffery, Deandre Hopkins and Rookie Derangement Syndrome. We unfairly downgrade 2nd year wide receivers if they don’t explode their rookie year, but receiver is a hard position to learn and it’s pretty rare for rookies to post top 24 seasons at receiver. The only rookie I’ve deemed usable in 2013 is Deandre Hopkins and even I won’t break the bank to get him.
Jeffery didn’t have a bad rookie season (24 catches, 367 yards, 3 touchdowns), and the upgrade in head coach/offensive coordinator is reason to believe in Jeffery’s prodigious talent. The WDG article shows us an on-field example of how Trestman’s offensive system is already benefiting him and builds on the Jeffery hype train that Charles Kleinheksel explains partially here.
Concerns about Marshall completely dominating the offense are probably a little bit overblown and seeing these positive signs makes me feel even better about calling him one of the 5 wide receivers you need to draft.