1st Round Focus: DeSean Jackson

The Chicago Bears have the 14th selection in the NFL Draft, and getting more playmakers in the passing game is a top priority. California receiver DeSean Jackson could be available at No. 14. Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber drops by BearReport.com and gives a quick scouting report on Jackson.

WR DeSean Jackson (6-0, 172) – California

Strengths: He's a dynamic offensive weapon with game-breaking ability. He has quick feet and gets vertical instantly. He has good hands and displays tremendous athleticism adjusting to errant passes. He's elusive after the catch and can take it to the house on any play. He's an outstanding punt returner and has the ability to provide instant offense on special teams.

Weaknesses: He lacks size and isn't a physical receiver. He struggles against bigger defenders who jam and stall his progression at the line of scrimmage. He's a big-play threat, but he doesn't break initial contact and is easily brought to the ground. He's still developing his game as a receiver and can be inconsistent.

Steuber Says: "As good as Jackson is on special teams, he's a bit inconsistent as a wideout. He showed more big-play potential as a receiver during his sophomore year, when he hauled in 59 receptions for 1,060 yards and 9 touchdowns, than he did this season as a junior – 65, 762, and 6. Even though he's not a polished receiver, he has game-changing qualities that will warrant a top-20 selection."

JC's Take: The Bears need another weapon in the passing game next season no matter who emerges in the quarterback derby, but taking a wideout in the first round will likely hinge on whether or not Bernard Berrian is re-signed in free agency.

Should Berrian bolt, the Bears wouldn't have very much lightning-strike ability left in the receiving corps aside from Devin Hester, who's still very much a work in progress offensively. Jackson is a home-run hitter capable of scoring every time he gets his hands on the football, but his skills as a return man would probably go to waste since this team already has Hester back deep on punts and kickoffs. And with Muhsin Muhammad not guaranteed of a spot on the roster because of his 35-year-old body and $1.6 million base salary, general manager Jerry Angelo might be more interested in a possession-type target than a deep threat.

Jackson makes some sense should Berrian leave the Windy City for greener pastures, but if he does indeed stick around, the Bears may be better off hoping a bigger prospect like Adarius Bowman (6-4, 200) of Oklahoma State or Limas Sweed (6-5, 219) of Texas falls to them at No. 14.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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