Every year NFL fans get ready for draft day with the hope that their beloved team will get the pieces needed to build a Champion. We watch the buildup for months after the Super Bowl to this weekend. Fans are beaten over the head with lists: Top Ten Draft busts, Top Ten Draft classes, Top Ten Draft steals, and so on and on.
While every fan can look at their team and call out the big busts in franchise history, The Packers will always have Tony Mandarich, "The best offensive line prospect ever" as anointed by Sports Illustrated. He was one glaring mistake by a franchise that more than made up for it in later years.
Dallas Cowboy fans can look at Quincy Carter, who was not only a first-round bust but he wasn't even a first round prospect. He was a reach and a bust. I can go through every franchise and find a bust or two, but it seems that only the Lions, Bengals, and Raiders fans can truly feel the Bears fans' pain.
The list of Bears flops is very long and undistinguished. In 1989, the 11 and 12 picks brought in Donnell Woolford and Trace Armstrong. While Woolford made the Pro Bowl in 1993, Armstrong made zero bowls with Chicago.
Other notable busts include:
Curtis Conway -1993
John Thierry-1994(yes John Thierry)
Rick Mirer (and before you say it I know he was a Seahawks pick but The Bears traded a 1st rounder for him so he counts.)
And I almost forgot the 2003 bust Michael Haynes.
Oh the list could go on for days. In 1988, two first-round picks brought in Brad Muster and Wendell Davis. Davis got injured so it is hard to call him a huge bust.
2005 pick Cedric Benson is on his way to becoming an all-time bust, but most people are waiting until after this season to put him up there on the Ryan Leaf list.
I notice the trend of busts through the late 80's all the way up until Lovie Smith took over. That may explain the two decades without a title.
Since the Lovie Smith era began, the Bears have seemingly done better in the draft. Maybe he is getting to "shop for the groceries" in the words of Bill Parcells.
This year's Draft is crucial for the future and present of this franchise, as it is for everyone. Let's hope the Bears Management does not drop the ball again.