While the title is probably depressing to read, the highlights contained within should be enough to at least smile about some of the things Jerry Angelo has done as a GM. He often leaves us scratching our heads (or, in more cases, cursing his name loudly in the streets), but with the draft coming up (and with memories of drafting Cedric Benson, Dusty Dvoracek, Michael Haynes... You know what, I'm going to stop there...), I thought we should take a look at the best draft picks taken by the Bears since Angelo was hired in 2001.
1) LB Lance Briggs (2003): This shouldn't be much doubt. The man is a perennial Pro-Bowler. Drafted out of Arizona in 2003, Lance has amassed 121 career starts and 124 games played with twelve interceptions and three touchdowns, sixty passes defended, and 705 tackles with 10.5 sacks. He and Brian Urlacher have anchored the Bears linebacking corps since he entered the league.
2) CB/WR/KR/PR Devin Hester (2006): When Jerry took this pure athlete in the second round, most of us thought it asinine. A kick returner, in the second round? But this move has turned out to be a good one. As a kick and punt returner, Hester put up his record-setting 14th return this season against the Vikings. We remember most clearly his punt return TD against the futile Arizona Cardinals in the memorable 2006 Super Bowl season, and we certainly remember him being the first to return the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl. Such explosiveness prompted management to move him to wide receiver in an attempt to get the ball in his hands more, but he's been more effective as a returner since his role was reduced as a receiver.
3) DE Alex Brown (2002): Since being drafted in 2002 in the fourth round out of Florida, the gator-chomping defensive end played in 143 games over eight seasons with the Bears. He notched 43.5 sacks and seventeen forced fumbles, and played the run very well. In 2007, after Mark Anderson's 13-sack rookie campaign, Brown was reduced to a bench role and Anderson was made the starter, but after being largely ineffective, he was benched and Brown was given back his starting role.
4) CB Charles Tillman (2003): Tillman has been a secondary staple since his arrival, having played in 14 games in seven of his eight seasons. As a Bear, he's picked up 27 interceptions for three touchdowns while forcing 23 fumbles.
5) RB Matt Forte (2008): Drafted in 2008, he was given the starting role immediately after Cedric Benson was released after some alleged legal trouble. Forte has not missed a game in his career. Over three seasons the Tulane star has amassed 3,236 yards and 18 touchdowns and 1,495 yards on 171 receptions for 7 touchdowns. In 2010 he recorded his first year above 4.0 YPC. Forte could find himself jumping up these rankings with another great season.
Honorable mention: TE Greg Olsen (2007), DT Tommie Harris (2004), Kyle Orton (2005), Chris Harris (2005)