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NFL Draft 2012: Is Alshon Jeffery The Answer For The Cardinals' Wide Receiver Needs?

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According to yesterday's poll, people did not seem all too happy with the idea of Kendall Wright being the Cardinals' new #2 wideout. 79% of the voters turned him down, saying that there will be too many other options for the Cardinals to choose from. Although, if the Cardinals were to trade down, Wright could very well become someone they look at.

In the comments section, a couple of you noted that there are other wide receivers that you would much rather have on the team as possession receivers. One of those players named was Alshon Jeffery, a former member of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

So I will ask you yet again: should the Cardinals consider drafting Alshon Jeffery?

One thing that I am not sure that I made very clear is the question in yesterday's poll. Obviously, the Cardinals might be looking for a bit more than Wright with the 13th overall pick, but if they were to trade down in the first round, would he become an option then?

The same question will be applied today with Alshon Jeffery. Most mock drafts around the web have Jeffery falling to either the end of the first round or the early second. If the Cardinals can manage to find someone that is looking to move up, then he may be a guy they intend to target.

One thing that puzzled many NFL fans was Jeffery's decision to not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He has never been thought of as a very fast player, mainly because of his length and the long strides that he takes.

However, at his Pro Day, he put a lot of his critics into their place. According to CBS Sports, Jefferey ran between a 4.4 and a 4.5 40-yard dash while also boasting a 36 1/2" vertical and a 10'2" broad jump.

Another thing that had many worried was Jeffery's weight issues. It was thought that if he was already a bit slow, adding on even more weight would do nothing but hurt his draft stock. That notion was put to rest as well when Jefferey weighed in at 213 pounds at his Pro Day.

Here are some of the scouting report notes from CBS:

The SEC is widely recognized as the top breeding ground for future NFL prospects and yet it is in this powerful conference that Jeffery has dominated. Jeffery spent three seasons at South Carolina and yet he entered his junior campaign as the SEC's active leader in catches (134), receiving yards (2,280) and receiving touchdowns (15) in 21 starts.

Jeffery's size advantage has made him a virtually unstoppable force for the Gamecocks, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the elite NFL prospect that his production and hype would lead you to believe. Despite annually producing draftable receivers while at South Carolina and Florida, remarkably few of Steve Spurrier's former pass-catchers have gone on to post similar success in the pros as they did in college. Will Jeffery be the next Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony, Jabar Gaffney, or Chad Jackson? Or will he buck the odds like Sidney Rice and Darrell Jackson? Improvement in his route-running and hands-catching, as well as a fast time in the 40-yard dash would help convince scouts he's the latter.

Jeffery is also one of the bigger receivers and one of the best catching receivers in this year's draft. If you don't believe me, take a look at this highlight reel from Gamecocks Online:

One thing that I worry about with Jeffery and his fit with the Cardinals would have to be his speed. The Cards are looking for a receiver that can stretch the field and take some of the safety pressure away from Larry Fitzgerald and the run game. At this point, one has to wonder if Jeffery could accomplish that task.

So after reading all of these notes and watching the video, what is your impression of Alshon Jefferey? Is he the type of player you would like to see Arizona make a run at? Tell us what you think in the comments section below and vote in the poll.

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