A while back, I ranked all 20 of Phil Emery’s draft picks as the general manager of the Chicago Bears. That sure did suck, didn't it?
Well, Bears fans, it may be time to brace yourselves.
Jerry Angelo, Emery’s predecessor, was Chicago’s general manager for an impressive 10 years. He led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance, as well as several playoff appearances. Which is surprising, considering how awful most of his draft picks were.
In the first of two articles, I will be ranking Angelo’s draft picks. Talent, value and production will all play part in determining these rankings.
Today, we’ll look at his selections from 2001 to 2005. While this list will eventually get better, there are a lot of picks on here that will make you want to rake your eyes out. Without further ado, let’s begin.
39. Karon Riley, LB
Riley only managed to get one tackle in his rookie season before getting cut after that year. Not what you'd want out of a fourth-round pick.
38. Claude Harriott, DE
Harriott, a fifth-round pick in 2004, failed to make the 53-man roster for the Bears.
37. Roosevelt Williams, CB
Williams started in two games in his rookie season, and was cut the year after. The former third-rounder bounced around the league to similar success (or lack, there of).
36. Tron LaFavor, DT
Having a cool name didn't do Tron any favors...get it? He only played in four games before getting cut after his rookie season.
35. Craig Krenzel, QB
A star in college, Krenzel failed to duplicate his success in the pros. He did start in five games, but was terrible in that stretch and didn't last a second season in Chicago.
34. Michael Haynes, DE
The Bears had high hopes for Haynes, who was their 14th overall pick in 2003. However, he only tallied 5.5 sacks in three years with the team before getting cut.
33. John Capel, WR
Capel failed to make the 53-man roster. His low draft status, however, prevents him from making the bottom five.
32. Bryan Anderson, OG
Anderson played in four games in his two seasons with the Bears before getting cut. Not to be confused with the former fullback.
31. Alfonso Marshall, CB
Marshall had four tackles with Chicago. The seventh-rounder was out of the league after his two years.
30. Jamin Elliott, WR
Elliott, the team's sixth-round pick in 2002, didn't have a single catch in the NFL.
29. Bryan Fletcher, TE
Fletcher, who never had a catch with the Bears, is literally one slot higher than Elliott because he was selected seven picks after him.
28. Bryan Knight, LB
Knight had 50 tackles in two seasons with the Monsters of the Midway before getting cut.
27. David Terrell, WR
Highly touted out of college, Terrell failed to make a splash with the Bears. The 2001 first-rounder had four underwhelming seasons before he was ultimately released.
26. Bernard Robertson, OT
Robertson started in five games in two years, but was cut after that. He never saw action in the NFL again.
25. Brock Forsey, RB
Forsey had a somewhat promising rookie campaign - he had 134 yards against the Cardinals - but was cut as a result of a crowded running back depth chart.
24. Leon Joe, LB
Joe was cut in his rookie season, but he found his way back to the Bears and served as depth for two more years.
23. Joe Odom, LB
Odom stayed with the Bears for three seasons, starting eight games in that span.
22. Mark Bradley, WR
Bradley was a decent depth piece at wide out for the Bears. However, being a second-round pick, that wasn't quite good enough.
21. Bobby Wade, WR
Wade had a promising sophomore season - he was second on the team in receiving yards - but he failed to build upon that. He also had some special teams value, but that wasn’t enough to save him from getting cut in 2005.
20. Marc Colombo, OT
Colombo had potential; he just couldn’t stay healthy. He only played in 19 games with the Bears, starting seven of them.
19. Bobby Gray, S
Gray stayed with Chicago for four seasons, racking up an interception and 88 tackles.
18. Justin Gage, WR
Gage had 64 receptions, 908 receiving yards and four touchdowns in Chicago. He left the Bears for the Tennessee Titans in free agency in 2007, where he would go on to reach his full potential.
17. Cedric Benson, RB
Cedric Benson was pretty much doomed from the start. He was thrown into a competition with Thomas Jones, which Jones ended up winning. Benson sat for two years and only had one season as the full-time starter. He was released in 2008 amid two arrests.
16. Rod Wilson, LB
Wilson never started a game with Chicago. Nevertheless, he was a good depth piece with special teams value for four seasons. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
15. Adrian Peterson, RB
The "other Adrian Peterson" stayed on with the Bears for eight seasons, amassing a total of 1,283 yards and eight touchdowns.
14. Terrence Metcalf, OG
Metcalf was a stalwart on the Bears' offensive line depth chart for seven years, starting 25 games and playing in 84.
13. Todd Johnson, S
Johnson was a solid depth piece for Chicago's secondary. His best season came in 2004, when he racked up 75 tackles and started 10 games.
12. Mike Gandy, OT
Gandy only played in 32 games during his four-year tenure in Chicago, but he started in all but two of them.
11. Anthony Thomas, RB
Thomas had his moments of glory with the Bears, topping 1,000 rushing yards twice and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2001. However, once the Bears brought Thomas Jones in, the writing was on the wall for A-Train.
10. Tank Johnson, DT
Johnson was an athletic freak who couldn't stay clean. The 2004 second-round pick was a formidable presence alongside Tommie Harris (we'll get to him later), but was cut after three seasons - and two encounters with the law.
9. Rex Grossman, QB
Sad to see Grossman this high on the list, right? Nevertheless, Sexy Rexy was able to bring the Bears to the Super Bowl. He never reached his full potential, however, as injuries and inconsistency doomed him for much of his tenure.
8. Kyle Orton, QB
Orton was an on-again-off-again starter for the Bears during his four seasons there. He led them to an 11-5 record in his rookie season, despite having a bad season. He also started 15 games in 2008 before getting traded to Denver for Jay Cutler.
7. Chris Harris, S
Harris had two promising seasons with the Bears before getting traded to Carolina. He would return to the Bears in 2010, when he would have five interceptions and become a second-team All-Pro.
6. Bernard Berrian, WR
Even though he spent his first two seasons as a backup, Berrian still had a solid run with the Bears. He had 122 receptions, 1,726 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns from 2007 to 2008. Not re-signing him proved to be a mistake, as Chicago didn't have another legitimate top receiver for another four years.
5. Alex Brown, DE
Brown, a fourth-round pick in 2002, ended up becoming a consistent force on the Bears’ defensive line for much of the 2000’s. He totaled 43.5 sacks in eight seasons with the team, as well as 372 tackles.
4. Nathan Vasher, CB
Although Vasher fought multiple injuries in the back end of his career, he was a force to be reckoned with in the secondary for years. He had 13 interceptions in his first two seasons; eight of them came in 2005, when he was named to a Pro Bowl and made the First-Team All-Pro list.
3. Tommie Harris, DT
Harris was an uber-athletic, three-time Pro Bowler who made an impact with the Bears almost immediately. And he could’ve been even better than he was. Nevertheless, the 2004 first-rounder was a dominant force on the defensive line for seven seasons: he had 28.5 sacks and 32 stuffs.
2. Charles Tillman, CB
The fact that Charles Tillman was only named to two Pro Bowls is, in itself, a tragedy. In 12 seasons with the Bears, Peanut had 36 interceptions, 856 tackles and 42 forced fumbles. Whether it be alongside Nathan Vasher or Tim Jennings, he was always a cornerstone of the Bears’ defense.
1. Lance Briggs, LB
Along with Brian Urlacher, Briggs formed arguably the best linebacker duo in the NFL for much of the 2000’s. The 2003 third-round pick went on to become a seven-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro. Thanks in part to his 1,173 tackles and his dependability - he started in all but three games he played in - he was arguably Jerry Angelo's best pick.