Last week, I ranked Jerry Angelo’s draft picks from 2001 to 2005. He wasn't necessarily known for his spectacular drafting while he was the general manager of the Bears, and that list confirmed it.
Very few of the players on the list went on to have long NFL careers. Even less of them were successful with the Bears.
Despite a mostly-horrid draft record, Angelo was able to put together a team that went to the playoffs in three of his first six seasons, including one Super Bowl appearance in that span. However, he wasn’t as lucky in the rest of his tenure.
For the following five seasons, the Bears only made it to the playoffs once. Angelo was eventually fired after his 11th season as general manager.
While the first list was bad, it at least had some solid contributors. Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and others were fantastic picks. This list, however, doesn't have much of that.
Granted, Angelo gave up two first-round picks and a third-rounder to acquire Jay Cutler, so it was a bit tough to get elite talent. They also traded a second-rounder for an underachieving Gaines Adams (who sadly died in 2010). These deals made it clear just how little Angelo really valued his picks.
Before we get started, feel free to check out my ranking of Phil Emery's picks. You know, just in case you don't feel like being happy today.
As was the case in the latest article, a few things go into consideration here. Talent, value and production all come into play.
Ready to take a painful trip down memory lane? I sure am. Let’s get started.
47. Dan Bazuin, DE
Bazuin, the Bears' second-round choice in 2007, missed his entire rookie season to injury and was cut before he ever played a snap. Talk about impatient.
46. Juaquin Iglesias, WR
Iglesias, a 2009 third-round pick, never played a down in the NFL.
45. Jarron Gilbert, DE
Gilbert was as good at jumping out of pools as he was jumping out of the league: he only had two tackles in two seasons with the Bears.
44. Michael Okwo, LB
Okwo never played a snap for the Bears. The 2007 third-rounder was cut before his second season.
43. Marcus Freeman, LB
Due to a heart condition, Freeman never played a down with Chicago.
42. Garrett Wolfe, RB
Wolfe failed to capitalize on his storied college career: he never ran for more than 120 yards in one season.
41. Nathan Enderle, QB
Enderle, a fifth-round pick in 2011, lasted one season with the Bears without playing a down.
40. Joshua Moore, CB
Moore had one tackle with the Bears in his rookie season. He was cut soon after.
39. J.D. Runnels, FB
The Bears used a sixth-round pick on a third-string fullback who never carried the ball once in the NFL.
38. Tyler Reed, OG
Reed was on and off of the roster for four years, but never played a game.
37. Chester Adams, OG
One of the Bears' five seventh-round selections in 2008 (none of them panned out), Adams didn't make the final roster.
36. Kirk Barton, OT
Like the aforementioned Adams, Barton was another 2008 seventh-rounder who failed to make the team.
35. Dan LeFevour, QB
After a storied career at Central Michigan, LeFevour failed to make the Bears' roster after he was selected in 2010.
34. Marcus Monk, WR
Monk, the older brother of recent NBA draft pick Malik Monk, didn't make the team.
33. Aaron Brant, OT
Brant didn't make the 53-man roster.
32. Derek Kinder, WR
Kinder failed to make the team.
31. Ervin Baldwin, DE
Unlike most of his 2008 seventh-round colleagues, Baldwin actually made the team. He failed to do anything of note, though.
30. Joey LaRocque, LB
LaRocque was active for 14 games in his rookie season, but didn't do much to impress and was let go after the season.
29. Gabe Carimi, OT
Carimi started in all but two of the games he played as a Bear. However, he was awful in that time period, and the 2011 first-round pick was traded after his second season for a sixth-rounder.
28. J.T. Thomas, LB
Thomas missed his rookie year due to injury, and he had five tackles in his second season. He was let go afterwards to have some solid contribution on other teams.
27. Marcus Harrison, DT
Harrison ended up starting nine games in 2009, but was used as a reserve for the other two seasons he was with the Bears.
26. Chris Williams, OT
Much like Carimi, Williams failed to live up to his first-round status. He stayed with the Bears for four seasons (and part of a fifth).
25. Al Afalava, S
Afalava started all of the 13 games in which he played during his rookie season, but was surprisingly let go after that.
24. Dusty Dvoracek, DT
Injuries plagued Dvoracek's run with the Bears. He played (and started) in 13 games in his three years with the team.
23. Trumaine McBride, CB
The 2007 seventh-rounder ended up starting 10 games and lasted three seasons with the Bears.
22. Jamar Williams, LB
Williams never developed into a full-time starter, but he had a lot of value on special teams and stayed on the team for four years.
21. Josh Beekman, OG
Beekman, a 2007 fourth-round pick, started 20 games with the Bears.
20. Corey Wootton, DE
Wootton started 22 games and had 11 sacks in Chicago; one of those 11 ended Brett Favre's career.
19. Kellen Davis, TE
Davis started 35 games and had 11 receiving touchdowns in five years with the Bears. Not too shabby for a fifth-round pick whose hands were made out of butter.
18. Mark Anderson, DE
If Anderson had been able to build upon his stellar 12-sack rookie season, then he arguably could've been the top player on this list. However, he only had nine sacks in the four other seasons he played in Chicago.
17. Kevin Payne, S
The 2007 fifth-rounder had a solid three-year tenure with the team, including a solid 2008 campaign, when he finished with 88 tackles and four interceptions while starting all 16 games.
16. Lance Louis, OG
Louis started 28 games in four seasons. The 2009 seventh-rounder carved a niche for himself on the Bears' roster, especially in the latter part of his career.
15. J'Marcus Webb, OT
Webb, a 2010 seventh-round pick, started in 44 games at both left and right tackle in his three seasons with the Bears.
14. Craig Steltz, S
Steltz never became a full-time starter, but he was a valuable special teams contributor who managed to last six seasons with the Bears.
13. Earl Bennett, WR
Bennett lasted six seasons in Chicago, totaling 185 receptions, 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns.
12. Major Wright, S
In Wright's four seasons as a Bear, he racked up 253 tackles, 18 pass deflections and nine interceptions.
11. Chris Conte, S
Although he became the butt of many jokes in his tenure with the Bears, he was at least serviceable as a starter. He had 231 tackles, 21 pass deflections and nine interceptions in four years.
10. Corey Graham, CB
Graham went on to be more productive as a defensive back elsewhere, but he was a star special teams player who made the Pro Bowl in 2011.
9. D.J. Moore, CB
Arguably one of the most underrated players of the Lovie Smith era, Moore was a solid nickelback: he had 10 interceptions and 22 pass deflections in four seasons.
8. Zack Bowman, CB
Bowman, a 2008 fifth-rounder, ended his six-year tenure in Chicago with 174 tackles, 21 pass deflections and 10 interceptions.
7. Danieal Manning, S/CB/KR
Manning was a starter for most of his five seasons in Chicago: he had 343 tackles, 24 pass deflections and seven interceptions. He was also a valuable kick returner.
6. Stephen Paea, DT
Paea was a solid contributor in the Bears' interior defensive line for four seasons, but he broke out in his final year with the team, when he had a career-high in tackles (33) and sacks (six).
5. Johnny Knox, WR/KR
Knox became a fan favorite during his time with the Bears. He was a small-school underdog, and a talented receiver on a team that lacked talent at the position. Before his career-ending injury, he had 133 receptions, 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season as a kick returner.
4. Henry Melton, DT
Melton, a 2009 fourth-rounder, had a solid tenure with the Bears. He had 22.5 sacks in 48 games with the team, and even made the Pro Bowl in 2012. An unfortunate ACL injury brought an end to his four years in Chicago.
3. Devin Hester, CB/WR/KR
Hester didn't do much at cornerback, and was OK as a receiver at best. However, he may have been the greatest returner of all time. He had 14 punt returns for touchdowns, as well as five kick returns for touchdowns. The four-time Pro Bowler broke the record for the most amount of return touchdowns in a career. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is ridiculous.
2. Greg Olsen, TE
Had the Bears not foolishly traded Olsen away in 2011, then he could've been a core piece of their offense for years to come. He had 194 receptions, 1,981 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in his four years there. While he went on to become one of the league's best tight ends with the Carolina Panthers, he was still impressive with the Bears.
1. Matt Forte, RB
In a 2008 draft class that was mostly pretty dull, Forte managed to carve a successful career out for himself. Through eight years with the Bears, he had 8,602 rushing yards and 45 rushing touchdowns. The two-time Pro Bowler was also valuable in the passing game, racking up 487 receptions, 4,116 receiving yards and 19 receiving touchdowns. Despite having an underwhelming offensive line for most of his time in Chicago (as well as several offensive coordinators), Forte was one of the league's best backs for many years. And for that, he gets the top spot on this list.