One of former general manager Jerry Angelo's biggest successes in Chicago was selecting running back Matt Forte in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL Draft, but Mel Kiper Jr. has a different take on what that draft class would look like six years later.
You need an ESPN Insider account to view the full article, but here is a peek at where he would have Forte going in his re-draft, as well as who he has the Bears taking instead.
11. Buffalo Bills: Matt Forte, RB
Actual 2008 pick: Leodis McKelvin
On a per-carry basis, I think most people would say that I should have (Jamaal) Charles in this spot and Forte in the spot below him. But consider that Forte has 843 more rushing yards and 119 more catches, and he has been significantly more durable, with 91 games started to 49 for Charles (who split a lot of reps earlier in his career). Forte has even more rushing yards than Rice, in fact. He's one of the more underrated players in the game today.
(Forte's previous slot: No. 44 overall)
It's worth noting that in 2008, the following running backs were taken before Forte:
- Darren McFadden (Raiders)
- Jonathan Stewart (Panthers)
- Felix Jones (Cowboys)
- Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers)
- Chris Johnson (Titans)
In Kiper's re-draft, the only two drafted above Forte were Johnson (7th overall) and Ray Rice (4th).
Who did Kiper have the Bears selecting in the re-draft?
14. Chicago Bears: Jordy Nelson, WR
Actual 2008 pick: Chris Williams
The Bears aren't thin at wide receiver now, but until Brandon Marshall arrived, it was a problem area that a guy like Nelson would have helped. Nelson is more than some lucky recipient of Aaron Rodgers' passes -- he's a very good receiver at every level and is crafty in his ability to improvise when plays get extended, making him a valued player because he helps Rodgers maximize his mobility. Nelson is second only to DeSean Jackson in receiving yards for this class.
(Nelson's previous slot: No. 36 overall)
Most Chicago Bears fans cringe when remembering the Williams pick, although at the time, it wasn't necessarily considered a bad selection. The Bears were hurting for a solid left tackle, and could not have anticipated the back injury suffered during his rookie season (yes, he also had a back injury in college, but despite what many believe, the team indicated that this was completely separate).
Looking back, of course Nelson would have been a better pick, as Williams never managed to make an impact on the offensive line (despite playing four different positions), and is now a Free Agent.
When you consider Kiper's re-draft, would you have preferred the actual version, or the new one?