Momentous Bears Drafts (Part 2)

This is a two-part series looking back at the drafts of the Chicago Bears. This series will take into account the drafts from 1998 until 2006. I realize that I could have looked farther into history and taken a broad approach to this, but this way, both the young'ns and the old-timers on this blog can relate and discuss these drafts.

As big_low suggested, I am rating the drafts using the following system. Note that I am rating these players on how they performed with the Bears:

10 points - Pro Bowl player

8 points - Good starter

6 points - Average starter

4 points - Below-average starter

2 points - Reserve

In this second part of the series, we're going to review the worst drafts in Bears history:

Worst Draft: 2001

 

   Terrell_david1017_medium

Pick #

Round

Player

Points

1

1

David Terrell, WR, Michigan

4

2

2

Anthony Thomas, RB, Michigan

8

3

3

Mike Gandy, G, Notre Dame

4

4

4

Karon Riley, DE, Minnesota

2

5

5

Bernard Robertson, T, Tulane

4

6

7

John Capel, WR, Florida

0

 

This draft is tied with 2005 points-wise, but this draft gets the title because the average NFL life of these draft picks was 4.5 years. I counted this coming season as a season for continuity's sake. The Arizona Cardinals will not cut Mike Gandy anytime soon; Gandy is the only person from this draft currently in the NFL.

 

David Terrell, WR
Selection #: 8 (1st round)
College: Michigan

Career Stats

Season

Team

Receiving

Rushing

Fumbles

G

GS

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

Att

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FUM

Lost

2005

Denver Broncos

1

0

0

0

--

0

0

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

2004

Chicago Bears

16

15

42

699

16.6

63

1

3

10

3.3

20

0

1

1

2003

Chicago Bears

16

8

43

361

8.4

35

1

1

4

4.0

4

0

1

0

2002

Chicago Bears

5

1

9

127

14.1

52

3

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

2001

Chicago Bears

16

6

34

415

12.2

62

4

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

TOTAL

128

1,602

12.5

63

9

4

14

3.5

20

0

2

1

 

Ahh....memories. David Terrell was one in a string of first-round misses for the Bears. This one particularly hurt, because Terrell (like Cedric Benson) was incredibly productive in college, playing both defense and offense for the Michigan Wolverines. During his college career, he was clocked at 4.31 in the 40. Unfortunately, we never saw any of his stellar effort with the Bears. As you can see, he amassed nine touchdowns with the Bears throughout a four-year span. He was also unbelievably inconsistent, which led to the Bears cutting ties with him after the 2004 season. People that we could have picked with our pick? Santana Moss, Nate Clements, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Wayne, and Todd Heap. Very sad indeed.

 

Anthony Thomas, RB
Selection #: 38 (2nd round)
College: Michigan

Season

Team

Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles

G

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FUM

Lost

2007

Buffalo Bills

10

2

36

89

2.5

9

0

15

95

6.3

11

1

--

--

2006

Buffalo Bills

16

2

107

378

3.5

19

2

22

139

6.3

18

0

1

1

2005

New Orleans Saints

4

0

7

12

1.7

4

0

2

8

4.0

6

0

--

--

2005

Dallas Cowboys

5

2

36

80

2.2

12

0

2

5

2.5

5

0

--

--

2004

Chicago Bears

12

2

122

404

3.3

41T

2

17

132

7.8

30

0

1

1

2003

Chicago Bears

13

13

244

1,024

4.2

67T

6

9

36

4.0

9

0

1

0

2002

Chicago Bears

12

12

214

721

3.4

34

6

24

163

6.8

19

0

5

3

2001

Chicago Bears

14

10

278

1,183

4.3

46

7

22

178

8.1

23

0

--

--

TOTAL

1,044

3,891

3.7

67

23

113

756

6.7

30

1

8

5

 

Unlike Terrell, Anthony Thomas actually produced during his time with the Bears. A power runner (given his "A-Train" nickname), he was sensational his first year with the Bears, taking them to the playoffs and winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in the process. While he took a slight decline in production in the 2002 campaign, he rallied in 2003 to have his second-best year, running for 1,024 yards and six touchdowns. However, Thomas Jones came onto the scene in 2004. Coupled with the A-Train's continued ineffectiveness in certain situations, he saw less and less playing time and was eventually released. Since his release from the Bears, his career took a sharp downturn: Brief stints with Dallas, New Orleans, and a two-year campaign with the Bills.

 

Mike Gandy, G
Selection #: 68 (3rd round)
College: Notre Dame

Season

Team

G

GS

2007

Arizona Cardinals

16

16

2006

Buffalo Bills

16

16

2005

Buffalo Bills

16

16

2004

Chicago Bears

5

5

2003

Chicago Bears

14

14

2002

Chicago Bears

13

11

2001

Chicago Bears

0

0

TOTAL

80

78

 

Don't we wish that we had this one back? Mike Gandy was a spotty performer for the Bears. The odd thing is that after his career with the Bears, he hasn't missed a start since. Another Bear that took a similar career path was Marc Colombo, who has just happened to start all but 13 games in his three years with the Cowboys. I'm starting to think that somehow, it's not a coincidence. Maybe we need to get a better O-line coach?

 

Karon Riley, DE
Selection #: 103 (4th round)
College: Minnesota

Season

Team

Tackles

Interceptions

Fumbles

G

GS

Total

Solo

Ast

Sck

SFTY

PDef

Int

Yds

Avg

Lng

TDs

FUM

Lost

2004

Atlanta Falcons

1

0

1

1

0

0.0

--

0

--

--

0.0

--

--

--

--

2003

Atlanta Falcons

16

0

15

10

5

0.0

--

0

--

--

0.0

--

--

--

--

2002

Atlanta Falcons

3

0

0

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

0.0

--

--

--

--

2001

Chicago Bears

5

0

1

1

0

0.0

--

0

--

--

0.0

--

--

--

--

TOTAL

17

12

5

0.0

0

0

0

0

--

0

0

0

0

 

Riley never started one game for the Chicago Bears. He played in five games, but never made a big impact, as you can see. Even with the Falcons, who he played for in the next three years, he never started one game, and his highest tackle total was fifteen. This was just one of the headscratching picks from this draft.

 

Bernard Robertson, T
Selection #: 138 (5th round)
College: Tulane

Season

Team

G

GS

2003

Buffalo Bills

0

0

2002

Chicago Bears

16

5

2001

Chicago Bears

0

0

TOTAL

16

5

 

The Bears finally looked to somewhere out of the Midwest for this draft pick. Bernard Robertson came onto the team when we actually had a good offensive line (during the 2001 playoff season), so he didn't have a chance to prove himself his first year. He was able to start in five games during the next campaign and was able to see action in all of the games, but his performance was not overwhelming. He was on the Bills the next season, and he was out of football one year after that.

 

John Capel, WR
Selection #: 208 (7th round)
College: Florida 

We never saw John Capel play with the Chicago Bears, which is actually too bad. Capel was a fantastic wide receiver and sprinter in high school. He played football his first two years at Florida, but was ineligible to play his junior year because he was a sprinter on the U.S. Olympic team. During the 2001 NFL combine, Capel tested positive for marijuana and was again busted a couple of months after he was drafted by the Bears. The Bears cut him before training camp, and he has resumed his sprinting career. He was not able to make the team that was sent to Beijing.

 

Second-Worst Draft: 2005

39718123_medium

Pick #

Round

Player

Points

1

1

Cedric Benson, RB, Texas

4

2

2

Mark Bradley, WR, Oklahoma

2

3

4

Kyle Orton, QB, Purdue

4

4

5

Airese Currie, WR, Clemson

2

5

6

Chris Harris, DB, Louisiana-Monroe

8

6

7

Rod Wilson, DB, South Carolina

2

 

Like I stated before, I gave the title to 2001 for one crucial reason: the average NFL span of these picks. In 2001, the average length was 4.5. In the 2005 draft, Benson lasted 3 seasons, Bradley, Orton, and Wilson will be with us this season, Chris Harris is playing for Carolina this year, and Airese Currie was out after two seasons. Bradley may be the next to see a pink slip: Orton is the starting QB, Harris is a starter in Carolina, and Rod Wilson is a valuable reserve for the defense and ST. Unless Harris suffers a catastrophic injury, he will have a long playing career. If Orton does not keep the starting job, he will sign as a backup somewhere, whether it is with the Bears or another team. Rod Wilson is an above-average special teams player, but he isn't on the level of Ayanbadejo, which means he won't leave us anytime soon because of money. The average length of this squad will be longer in a year or two than the 2001 season.

Seeing that 2001 and 2005 had the same number of draft picks and the lowest number of quality players in those draft, I made a subjective decision. While Benson was an alcoholic off the field, he still made an impact on the Bears. One could argue that behind a better line, we would have seen the runner that he was at the University of Texas. Terrell was so inconsistent and had no one to blame but himself. While having a porous OL is not an excuse for a halfback to use, it is something that we need to keep in mind.

I'd also like to take a second to say that I appreciate all of your comments, both positive and negative. I want to hear your suggestions, your comments, and anything else you'd like to add.

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