So why do the Packers look so good, while the Bears often struggle to look mediocre?
The answer is—the draft.
Ted Thompson is the best in the business with his draft picks. Jerry Angelo is among the worst.
Let's take a look back at Angelo's best and worst picks, going back to 2008.
After playing in nine games his rookie season, Williams started at guard in 2009 and has remained there.
I can't describe the lack of development better than Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune did yesterday. Read his article here.
Players who came after Williams in the draft include Joe Flacco, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Johnson.
Running back Matt Forte is Jerry Angelo's best draft pick since Devin Hester.
And also his last home run.
Forte rushed for 1,238 yards during his rookie year and caught passes for another 477. He already has 5,822 all-purpose yards in his young career.
So far in 2011, Forte leads all non-quarterbacks in total yards at 1,091. He also leads the NFL in rushes over 20 yards at nine.
Earl Bennett played in 10 games in 2008 and had no catches.
Then Jay Cutler came to town. Cutler and Bennett had an instant connection due to their time together at Vanderbilt, and it showed on the field over the next few years.
Bennett caught 100 balls for 1,278 yards in 2009 and 2010. Although this doesn't speak to the strength of Bennett as much as it does about the sad state of the Bears receiving corps.
This is where it starts to get ugly.
Defensive Tackle Marcus Harrison was part of the Bears from 2008-10, playing in 37 games and recording three sacks.
He was released in 2011 and picked up by the Carolina Panthers on September 4th—until he was cut only days after for failing his physical. The New England Patriots then picked him up, only to cut him a few days later as well.
Strong safety Craig Steltz has been with the Bears from 2008-11. He has played in 39 games but has only started three.
He has never developed into the starter that the Bears had originally hoped.
Cornerback Zack Bowman is another member of the "never-developed-into-a-starter club."
He had some success in 2009, starting 13 games and recording an impressive six interceptions and one forced fumble during the season. Unfortunately, he was never able to replicate 2009's feats.
Kellen Davis played tight end behind Greg Olsen from 2008-10 and only received limited playing time.
His size and ability to block make him a better fit for Mike Martz's offense than Greg Olsen was. But Martz's offense generally fails to utilize the tight end position.
Ervin Baldwin never played a game as a Chicago Bear—he was released in 2009.
Chester Adams never played a game as a Chicago Bear—he was injured and released in 2008.
Joey LaRocque appeared in 14 games as a rookie—he was cut after the 2008 season.
Kirk Barton was a member of the Bears, Dolphins, 49ers, Dolphins again, Bengals, Lions, 49ers again, Lions again, Broncos, and Panthers from 2008-10. All that movement, and the one NFL game he played was for the team that drafted him.
Marcus Monk was waived prior to his rookie season.
The year 2008 was not so bad by Jerry Angelo standards. Six of his 12 picks are still on the team, which is a decent outcome. But only one of his 12 picks is a true starter.
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