Chicago Bears: Grading Jerry Angelo's 2008 Draft
It is unfair to judge a draft class from just one season, so I am leaving the 2010 Bears draft class out of this discussion. But let’s take a look back on the last five drafts under current Chicago General Manager Jerry Angelo. From booms to bust, here are picks and the overall grades from those drafts.
1st Round (No. 14 Overall): Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
When you draft a kid with the 14th pick overall to be your anchor at left tackle for years to come and now he plays left guard, that's not a great pick. Williams has been injured a lot in his young career, and maybe that has been the reason for his ineffectiveness thus far. But let’s not say he is a draft bust yet. Mike Tice can still work with him and make him a good guard.
Pick grade - D+
2nd Round (No. 44 Overall): Matt Forte, RB, Tulane
Forte has done everything for Chicago. He catches the ball out of the backfield (led the team in receptions in his rookie season in 2008) and is a tough runner in between the tackles. He has two 1,000 yards season in three years and has started every game. Can't ask for much more.
Pick grade - A
3rd Round (No. 70 Overall): Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
Bennett has been the Bears starter for the last two seasons and has been fairly productive. He was second on the team in receiving two years ago with 717 yards. Bennett does a nice job of going across the middle and runs good routes. He is not a star, but a receiver that is reliable.
Pick grade – B-
3rd Round (No. 90 Overall): Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas
Harrison is a back up defensive lineman, plain and simple. He does a good job when he plays and provides Chicago with good depth. Many expected big things from Harrison, and he was once regarded as a first round talent with some character issues. He hasn’t had issues with the Bears, but he certainly isn’t a first round talent.
Pick grade - C
4th Round (No. 120 Overall): Craig Steltz, S, LSU
Steltz is another one of those good special teams players for the Bears. In the fourth round, fans were praying for Steltz to be that impact safety that Chicago has been looking for since Mike Brown left. He has done a good job of filling in when he does get playing time and is rarely out of position.
Pick grade - C
5th Round (No. 142 Overall): Zackary Bowman, CB, Nebraska
Bowman started for Chicago in the 2009 season, but was supplanted in the starting lineup by Tim Jennings three games into this season. Bowman did a good job when he started, and led the Bears in interceptions in 2009 with six. He has a nose for the ball, and I still think he has a good future in the NFL.
Pick grade - B
5th Round (No. 158 Overall): Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State
David is the third tight end on the roster and gets limited playing time. He wasn’t drafted to be a starting and impact tight end, but more as insurance for Greg Olsen. Davis does a good job of getting open in the red zone, and is an adequate blocker when he comes in. He will never be a starter, but for a 5th round pick, he has given Chicago some production.
Pick grade – C
Draft Class Grade
The Bears came away from this draft with a top running back in Forte and several solid role players. That's a pretty decent haul considering they had a good roster to begin with, but Angelo did miss on a handful of impact players that could've really helped Chicago.
Among some of the more glaring oversights are wide receiver DeSean Jackson (No. 49 overall) and quarterback Josh Johnson (No. 160 overall). The grade would be higher if the Bears' first pick wasn't so bad, but then again it's not really fair to blame Angelo for Williams.
Other players in this draft include: Ervin Baldwin (No. 208 overall), Chester Adams (No. 222 overall), Joey LaRocque (No. 243 overall), Kirk Barton (No. 247 overall) and Marcus Monk (No. 248 overall).
Overall draft grade - B-
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