A Look Back at the Chicago Bears' Draft History

Joey GarciaCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2009

In just a little over a month, many die hard fans will be glued to their television screens (a 55" HD myself) to watch their favorite football teams retool and rebuild in this year's NFL draft.

Coaches and general managers will be spending countless hours in the war room trading picks, evaluating talent, looking over depth chart needs, and searching for that diamond in the rough.

But sadly, for my beloved Chicago Bears, this year will be the same old story.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and
expecting different results."

In a nut shell, that explains our General Manager. 

That cute, little, red-nosed devil you see in the picture above goes by the name of Jerry Angelo.

Jerry came aboard the Bears' organization in the summer of 2001. Many Bears fans were excited to finally see some changes and possibly put the team in a new direction.

That excitement over time has quickly turned to hatred.

Many Bears fans, including myself, over the past few months, have been irate at the fact that our team has many holes and yet the Man in charge has done nothing to fix them. He continues to depend (or gamble) on draft picks to solve the answer.

In the midst of free agency, Jerry has been in a comatose like stage watching players fill needs for other teams. Now I'll be the first one to say that free agency does not cure all of our problems; however, it's a start. 

In this article, we will look at the draft history of the Chicago bears under the tutelage of Jerry Angelo: Players we drafted and players we could have potentially drafted. I'll also assign Jerry an overall draft grade.

I will spare you the feeling of regurgitating your last meal by not going further into draft history by mentioning names like: Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam, and Cade McNown.

That would be cruel and unusual punishment.

So as we embark on another draft journey in the upcoming weeks, let us remember this St. Patrick's Day and hope that a little luck of the Irish rubs off on Jerry Angelo for the upcoming NFL draft.


Without further ado, let's begin with Jerry's first NFL draft.

2002-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL                          

1          29         MARC COLOMBO         T                     BOSTON COLLEGE

3          72         ROE WILLIAMS            GB                  TUSKEGE

3          93         TERRENCE METCALF   G                     MISSISSIPPI

4          104       ALEX BROWN               DE                  FLORIDA

5          140       BOBBY GRAY               DB                  LOUISIANA TECH

5          165       BRYAN KNIGHT            DE                  PITTSBURGH

6          199       ADRIAN PETERSON     RB                  GEORGIA SOUTHERN

6          203       JAMIN ELLIOTT           WR                  DELAWARE

6          210       BRYAN FLETCHER      TE                    UCLA


Jerry's first pickMarc Colombo

Colombo barely saw the field because of injuries with his stay in Chicago. Colombo was finally waived after the season opener in 2005.


Players still on active roster

Adrian Peterson

He can be a solid third-down back and special-teams player, but has played his entire career in the shadows of other backs and has only managed to rack up 1,232 yards in his stay with the Bears.

Alex Brown

Only missed missed one game in his entire career in 2002. Alex has 327 total tackles with six sacks and one INT in '08.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Deshaun Foster, Clinton Portis, Deion Branch-Second round

(I know we didn't have a second-round pick that year, but these players would have been a better choice with our first pick.)

Brian Westbrook-third round

David Garrard-fourth round

Chester Taylor-sixth round


2003-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL 

1         14          Michael Haynes      DE                     Penn State

1         22          Rex Grossman        QB                     Florida

2         35          Charles Tillman       CB                    Louisiana-Lafayette

3         68          Lance Briggs           OLB                  Arizona

4         100        Todd Johnson         DB                     Florida

4         116        Ian Scott                  DT                     Florida

5         139        Bobby Wade           WR                    Arizona

5         143       Justin Gage              WR                    Missouri

5         171        Tron Lafavor            DT                     Florida

6         191        Joe Odom                LB                      Purde

6         206        Brock Forsey          RB                       Boise State

7         261        Bryan Anderson     G                        Pittsburgh


Jerry's first pickMichael Haynes

Haynes spent three seasons with the Bears and recorded only 22 total tackles and a whooping two sacks his rookie season. He finished with 5.5 total sacks in his stink with Chicago.


Jerry's second first round pickRex Grossman

70.2 career QB rating, 33 career TD's with 35 INT'S...do you really want me to go on?


Players Still On Active Roster

Charles Tillman

Peanut has shown he can be a  productive player ( when healthy). Tillman has played only one full season with Chicago without injury (2003). He has 15 career forced fumbles with the Bears and recorded three Interceptions in 2008.

Lance Briggs

JBriggs was the first solid pick of Jerry's draft career. Lance is a pro-bowl player who racked up 110 tackles in 2008 with 90 of them being solo. Lance is a great compliment to Urlacher who is not afraid of contact.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Troy Polamalu, Nnamdi Asomugha-First round  (That one hurts just typing it)

Anquan Boldin, Osi Umenyiora-Second round

Jason Witten-Third round

Asante Samuel-Fourth round


Jerry's first Free Agent splash......( Drum-roll Please)

Kordell Stewert. Yes, Bears fans, as sadly as we can remember "Slash" was signed to a two-year $5 million deal...and yes we all know how that went.


2004-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL 

1         14          Tommie Harris        DT                     Oklahoma

2         47           Tank Johnson         DT                      Washinton

3         78           Bernard Berrian     WR                     Fresno State

4         110         Nathan Vasher       CB                    Texas

4         112         Leon Joe                  LB                     Maryland

5         147        Claude Harriott       DE                     Pittsburgh

5         148        Craig Krenzel           QB                    Ohio State

7         215        Alfonso Marshall      CB                    Miami (Fla)


Jerry's first pickTommie Harris

Harris has shown that he can be a dominant defensive player in the NFL when he is not battling knee problems. Tommie has 178 career tackles with the Bears and registered five sacks in 14 games in 2008.


Players Still On Active Roster

Nathan Vasher

Vasher is another player who has shown signs of being a dominant player in the NFL when he is not plagued with injuries. Vasher has 151 career tackles but only registered 21 tackles and one INT in the eight games he played in last season.


Biggest Bust

Craig Krenzel

In the five games he started for us, Krenzel had 59 completions out of an amazing 127 attempts. Krenzel racked up an un-holy 52.5 QB rating with three TD's and six INT'S.


Ain't It Funny?

Hey Bears fans? Remember the game against the Vikings last year when Berrian smoked us for a 99-yard touchdown run?? Gotta love that Angelo.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Bob Sanders, Chris Snee-second Round

Jared Allen-fourth Round

Michael Turner-fifth Round

Willie Parker, Wes Welker, James Harrison-Undrafted



2005-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL 

1         4            Cedric Benson        RB                      Texas

2         39         Mark Bradley           WR                     Oklahoma

4         106       Kyle Orton                QB                     Purdue

5         140       Airese Currie           WR                     Clemson

6        181        Chris Harris             FS                       Louisiana-Monroe

7        220        Rod Wilson              LB                       South Carolina


Jerry's first pickCedric Benson

Benson has not played one healthy season in his three-year-career with the Bears. Benson ran for 1,593 and had a harder time finding running holes in his first year as a starter than Helen Keller.


Biggest bust (Other than Benson)

Mark Bradley

Mark played only seven games his rookie season with 18 receptions and 230 yards. He stepped his game the following season by playing 10 games and gaining 282 yards receiving.


Players Still On Active Roster.

Kyle Orton

Kyle earned a starting job his rookie season because of Rex going down with injuries. Orton whipped up a 59.7 QB rating that year with 9 TD's and 13 INT's.

Orton has a 71.1 Career QB rating with the Bears and was finally given the starting job coming into the 2008 season. In 15 games Orton threw 18 TD's with 12 INT's.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Shawne Merriman, DeMarcus Ware-First Round

Lofa Tatupu-Second Round

Justin Tuck-Third Round

Marion Barber-Fourth Round

Matt Cassel-Seventh Round



2006-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL

2         42          Daniel Manning       FS                     Abilene Christian

2         57          Devin Hester           DB                    Miami (Fla)

3         73          Dusty Dvoracek      DT                     Oklahoma

4         120       Jamar Williams        LB                      Arizona State

5         159       Mark Williams           DE                     Alabama

6         195       J.D. Runnels             RB                      Oklahoma

6        200        Tyler Reed                G                        Penn State


Jerry's first pick

Daniel Manning

Manning was an asset on special teams last year returning kickoffs. Although his skills are better set to play the nickle position Danny registered 33 tackles, one sack, and one INT in 14 games last year on defense.


Biggest Bust

Dusty Dvoracek

Now I know there are some people reading this thinking that there is no way Dvoracek is a bust. Dusty has played only 13 games in two seasons with 31 total tackles and zero sacks.

I have yet to see that wild side everyone talks about.


Players Still On Active Roster

Devin Hester

It's scary sometimes to think that Hester could have easily ended up wearing another team's jersey that year.

Hester quickly became a star in the NFL with 11 total TD's on special teams. In most games for the Bears Hester was the entire offense returning punt's and kickoffs.

In the 2007 season Hester was moved to WR to give the offense a boost. In his first year as a starter in 08 Hester gained 665 yards receiving with three TD's.

Mark Anderson

Mark had a great rookie season with 12 sacks and four forced fumbles that year. Anderson's productivity took a big dump in the '08 season with only one sack and 18 total tackles.

Jamar Williams

Williams saw playing time last year filling in for Hillenmeyer on the strong side position. In '08, Williams racked up only 12 tackles and no sacks.


Ain't It Funny?

The '06 season was the Bears' first Super Bowl appearance since '85. After that year, Jerry and company decided to fire our defensive coordinator Ron Rivera who helped the Bears defense rank as high as fifth in the league.

With his departure, Lovie hired Bob Babich to take over play calling.

Rivera will be trying to take the Chargers to the playoffs for the third straight year under his play calling while Babich is trying to put the Bears looking from the outside for the third straight year.

Let's not forget that this is the same year we sent T. Jones to the Jets because we thought that Benson was ready to take over running the Ball (Yeah, I know).

Good thing Thomas Jones continues to rush for over 1,000 yards each season. It's not like we still needed him or anything. (Excuse me while I grab a tissue to wipe my tears away.)


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Cedric Griffin, Greg Jennings, Maurice Jones Drew-second Round

Jerious Norwood-third Round

Cortland Finnegan, Marques Colston-seventh Round

2007-Chicago Bears Draft

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL

1         31          Greg Olsen               TE                     Miami(FLA)

2         62          Dan Bazuin               DE                    Central Michigan

3         93          Garrett Wolf             RB                    Northern Illinois

3         94          Michael Okwo          LB                     Stanford

4         130        Josh Beekman        G                        Boston College

5         167        Kevin Payne            SAF                   Louisiana-Monroe

5         168        Corey Graham        CB                      New Hampshire

7         221        Trumaine McBride  CB                      Mississippi

7         241        Aaron Brant              T                        Iowa State


Jerry's first pickGreg Olsen

Greg has proved that he can put his name in the midst of Great TE's in the NFL today. At 6'5", 252 pounds, Olsen has the size, athletic ability, and hands to dominate the average size corners in the NFL.

Olsen has 965 total yards receiving and registered five TD's in his 2008 season.


Players Still On Active Roster.

Kevin Payne

Payne stepped up at the starting safety position in 2008 along side Mike Brown. Payne recorded 89 tackles with one sack and four INT's in 2008. He looks to be the starter in next year but has a lot of things to work on in order to bring his game to the next level.

Corey Graham

Graham provides depth at a corner position that has been plagued with injuries. Corey had 91 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.

Trumain McBride

Like Graham, McBride has found decent playing time filling in on defense at the corner position. Trumain isn't the most physical CB at 5'9", 185 pounds. He had only 11 tackles with one INT in the 2008 season.

Garrett Wolfe

As a 5'7" and 186-pound running back, Wolfe won't exactly run you over, but his speed is what Lovie and company covet. Wolfe has been compared to Darren Sproles at times, but because of a loaded depth at the RB position, his biggest contributions have come from his special-teams play.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Trent Edwards, James Jones-Third Round

Kevin Boss-Fifth Round


2008-Chicago Bears Draft   

RND    SEL#     PLAYER                     POSITION         SCHOOL

1         14          Chris Williams         OT                     Vanderbilt

2         44          Matt Forte                RB                     Tulane

3         70          Earl Bennett            WR                    Vanderbilt

3         90         Marcus Harrison      DT                      Arkansas

4         120       Craig Steltz              SAF                    Louisiana State

5         142       Zack Bowman          CB                      Nebraska

5         158       Kellen Davis             TE                       Michigan State

7        208        Ervin Baldwin           DE                      Michigan State

7        222         Chetser Adams       G                        Georgia

7        243         Joey LaRocque      LB                       Oregon State

7        247         Kirk Barton              T                         Ohio State

7       248          Marcus Monk           WR                     Arkansas


Jerry's first pickChris Williams

Williams was supposed to help solidify an O-line that had many questions. With Jerry's prior knowledge that Williams had had back problems Angelo, still rolled the dice and grabbed him with the 14th pick.

To nobody's surprise, Williams aggravated his back in the preseason and needed surgery to repair it.


Biggest Work Horse

Matt Forte

Matt Forte was the entire Chicago Bears offense last year, period. Forte had 316 carries and rushed for 1,238 yards and eight TD's rushing during his rookie season.

Forte lead the Bears in both rushing and receiving yards throughout most of the year.

Matt recorded 477 yards receiving and four TD's with 12 TD's total.


Not So Productive

Earl Bennett

Earl was drafted in the third round to potentially compete for playing time and contribute on offense.

Bennett's stats for the 2008 season: one punt return for 17 yards.


Please Don't Let Him Start

Craig Steltz

With Mike Brown's injury record, Steltz was drafted to become insurance if and when Brown goes down. When Craig wasn't getting run over by running Backs he recorded 17 tackles in the 2008 season.

Steltz managed one interception his rookie year. It was against the Lions so that's not saying much.

Steltz needs more grooming in the offseason but can contribute on special teams.


Notable Players Jerry passed on

Jeff Otah 19th pick, Sam Baker-first Round

Joe Flacco-first Round


Ain't It Funny?

Angelo decided an injury prone Tackle was a much safer pick than Baker and Otah, It's okay though. It's not like they would be blocking their way into the playoffs, and Flacco would help take his team to the AFC championship game, right?...Oh, wait...


Overall Draft Grade?

I'm going to let the fans decide on Jerry Angelo's draft history grade.

Let me know your comments on how you think Jerry has done, what grade you would give him, and your worst Draft memory.


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