Bears second-round draft pick Alshon Jeffery, a wide receiver from South Carolina, has agreed to a four-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jeffery is the first 2012 NFL draft pick to agree to terms and is the earliest second-round pick to sign since Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Williams on April 28, 1993.
"It's a blessing from God," Jeffery said via telephone. "It's something I always dreamed about as a kid, playing in the NFL."
Asked if he has any plans to buy anything significant, Jeffery said: "I don't have any plans. My plan is to spend money wisely. I'm going to manage my money to the best of my ability."
The Bears traded their fifth-round choice to the Rams to move up five spots to select Jeffery with the 45th overall pick.
The 6-3, 216-pounder, who entered the draft following his junior season, caught 183 passes for 3,042 yards and 23 touchdowns in 40 career games at South Carolina.
Jeffery had a breakout sophomore season in 2010, catching 88 passes for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns. His production dipped last year to 49 receptions for 762 yards and eight TDs when South Carolina employed more of a run-oriented offense.
Jeffery's 3,042 yards are a school-record and the second most in SEC history.
General manager Phil Emery said that Jeffery was the highest rated player remaining on the Bears’ board when they chose him, and they had him ranked among the top three receivers in the entire draft.
“We saw a big, dynamic athlete, playmaker falling and we decided that we were going to go after him,” Emery said. “We wanted to make sure we were close enough that it didn’t cost us more than a fifth-round pick.
“We felt good about the compensation, that we still had our third- and fourth-rounder to work in the draft and we went ahead and moved forward with it, and we’re very excited to have him.”
“We feel that Alshon has the best hands in the draft,” Emery said. “We feel that he is the best at adjusting to the ball. We feel he is the best sideline and end zone catcher in the draft. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s a big man. He’s strong. He’s tough. He doesn’t go down without a fight.”