All kinds of NFL Draft related articles pop up this time of year. Best of lists, worst of lists, re-drafts, mock drafts, etc. NFL fans can’t get enough of draft chit chat. We love it!
ESPN recently ran through a list of the worst classes in NFL Draft history*, and I just assumed the Chicago Bears would be well represented. I figured they'd have at least three draft classes on the list, but thankfully, it was a ranking of the worst class of each team, meaning only one awful Bears’ class would be spotlighted.
*They only ranked drafts of the “common draft era,” meaning since 1967.
I have to admit I wasn’t even a fan of the Beloved when they picked this group of players in 1978.
3rd - Brad Shearer, DT, Texas
6th - John Skibinski, RB, Purdue
6th - Mekeli Ieremia, DT, Brigham Young
7th - Herman Jones, Ohio State
8th - George Freitas, California
9th - Mike Martin, Kentucky
10th - Ben Zambiasi, Georgia
11th - Walt Underwood, USC
12th - Lew Sibley, Louisiana State
And here’s what ESPN had to say about this class, ranked 6th worst in the last 50 years.
6. (tie) 1978 Chicago Bears (5 AV)
Chicago had neither a first- nor a second-round pick in 1978, dealing the top pick for QB Mike Phipps and the second-rounder for DE Tommy Hart. The only players from the nine-man class who made the squad had brief careers as backups: defensive tackle Brad Shearer (third round) and running back John Skibinski (sixth round).
That AV number is a Pro Football Reference created metric that stands for Approximate Value. You can learn more about it here, but it measures a player’s value to his team.
You know a class is bad when they don’t even bother listing a position from the 7th round down.