CHICAGO -- The entire Chicago Bears 2012 draft class is scheduled to descend on Halas Hall beginning Friday for the club's annual three-day rookie minicamp, but second-round choice Alshon Jeffery recently got an introductory lesson to the offense courtesy of veteran third-string quarterback Josh McCown.
Jeffery ran routes and caught passes from McCown when the two worked out together last weekend in Rock Hill, S.C., a city about 30 minutes outside of Charlotte, N.C. Jeffery hails from St. Matthews, S.C., while McCown played quarterback for the Carolina Panthers from 2008 to '09 and maintained a residence in the area. McCown was a voluntary assistant football coach for a North Carolina high school before he signed with the Bears on Nov. 23, 2011.
McCown left the workouts impressed with the rookie wideout, whom the Bears moved up five spots to grab at No. 45 overall on Day 2 of the draft.
"He seems like a good kid," McCown said. "I was very impressed with him mentally. Great hands, too."
Jeffery was a first-team All-American at South Carolina in 2010 when he hauled in 88 passes for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns. His numbers dipped his final season at South Carolina when the Gamecocks dismissed their starting quarterback and went to a more ground-based attack. But Jeffery wrapped up his collegiate career by taking home MVP honors of the Capital One Bowl after he managed to catch four passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in a rout over Nebraska.
"I had a chance to watch him play a couple games last year, and he's a big, physical receiver," Bears receiver Earl Bennett said Wednesday on ESPN 1000's "Carmen, Jurko and Harry Show." "A guy who is going to do very well in the red zone because of his height. I'm pretty sure he's motivated to come play in the NFL and prove people wrong that he should've been a first-round pick. I feel like he's got a chip on his shoulder to come out and prove people wrong."
The Bears worked to quickly sign Jeffery, who agreed to terms on a four-year deal May 2. Now that Jeffery is under contract, he and other signed draft picks (Evan Rodriguez, Greg McCoy and Isaiah Frey) are eligible to start participating in the Bears' official offseason workout program at the start of next week, following the conclusion of this weekend's rookie minicamp. Jeffery also turned down an invitation to attend the 2012 NFLPA Rookie Premiere, an annual event at which selected rookies are flown to Los Angeles to be photographed for their NFL player cards, in order to spend more time participating in the Bears' offseason program, according to a league source.