Jerry Angelo was the general manager for the Chicago Bears from 2001 to 2011 and his inability to consistently build a winning team is ultimately why he was fired. His replacement was Phil Emery, who presided over the Bears from 2012-2014, and he also failed to build a winner during his time in Chicago.
The failings from these two were why I was so surprised to see the Chicago Bears ranked in the top 10 of the NFL.com's list of teams that have drafted the most Pro Bowl players in the last decade.
Chicago's 8 Pro Bowlers drafted is actually tied with 4 other teams, but three of their All Stars listed were only special teamers, and one other player on their list didn't make a Pro Bowl until he left Chicago, so I guess the list isn't all that impressive in comparison.
Here are the Angelo/Emery 8 along with the year they were drafted: Kyle Long (2013), Alshon Jeffery (2012), Henry Melton (2009), Johnny Knox (2009), Matt Forte (2008), Greg Olsen (2007), Corey Graham (2007), Devin Hester (2006)
And here's what NFL.com had to say about the group.
The skinny: During his nine-year career, Hester has been one of the NFL's most dangerous return specialists. Hester was a three-time Pro Bowler while with the Bears, went three seasons without being picked, and then made a Pro Bowl return in 2014 as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Long, meanwhile, has been a Pro Bowl selection in each of his two NFL seasons.
Hester is arguably the greatest return man to ever live, but Knox made a Pro Bowl one year as a kick returner and Graham picked up his Pro Bowl nod because of his special teams skills. Not to diminish their accomplishments, but teams would obviously rather find offensive and defensive studs.
Tight end Greg Olsen didn't make a Pro Bowl until last year with the Carolina Panthers. In fact only three of the eight players listed are even still on the Bears.
Besides my surprise on the Bears even making the top 10, I was also surprised to see only 5 of the 14 teams listed had become Super Bowl champs (Pittsburgh did win 2 however).
I guess that just goes to show you that plucking Pro Bowlers from the draft is just part of the building process. Identifying the correct leadership to guide the team, maintaining solid depth and not letting top talent leave is just as important.
Anything surprise you about the NFL.com list?