Learn from Bears' draft hits—and misses

As Phil Emery prepares for his second Bears draft, he would be wise to study his predecessor Jerry Angelo. The Bears will pick in the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of the 2013 draft. RedEye takes a look at Angelo's best and worst from those rounds.


BEST – Tommie Harris, defensive tackle, 2004

WORST – Michael Haynes, defensive end, 2003

Angelo's poor track record in the first round is well-documented, and we could debate his best and worst picks till the cows come home. Though derailed by injuries, Tommie Harris ripped off a three-year stretch where he was arguably the league's best at his position, making three Pro Bowls and anchoring the defensive line of the league's top defense.

And while you can make a case for Marc Colombo or Cedric Benson, for our money Angelo's worst first-round pick was Penn State defensive end Michael Haynes. He amassed 5.5 sacks in three seasons, and he was taken two slots in front of possible Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu, who would have teamed nicely with Mike Brown.


BEST – Charles Tillman, cornerback, 2003

WORST – Dan Bazuin, defensive end, 2007

While he was garbage in the first round, Angelo hit big in the second round, nabbing Matt Forte in 2008, Devin Hester in 2006 and best of all, Charles Tillman in 2003. Peanut is a two-time Pro Bowler, was an anchor on a Super Bowl defense and is the best cornerback in Bears history.

And now you're saying, "But wait—I'm a die-hard Bears fan, and I don't remember this so-called Dan Bazuin." That's because Bazuin missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons with separate surgeries on the same knee and was released without ever playing a game.


BEST – Alex Brown, defensive end, 2002

WORST – Leon Joe, linebacker, 2004

Henry Melton has a chance to wrestle away this belt, but for now the choice is Alex Brown, who played in all 16 games in seven of his eight Bears seasons, was a full-time starter except during the 2007 Mark Anderson experiment, was a locker room leader and finished his time in Chicago fourth on the Bears' all-time sack list.

Leon Joe, on the other hand, was picked 14 spots ahead of Jared Allen. Joe's best moment came in the first game of the 2006 season when he helped block for Devin Hester on the rookie's first career punt return touchdown.


BEST – Johnny Knox, wide receiver, 2009

WORST – Claude Harriott, defensive end, Craig Krenzel, quarterback, 2004

Knox was a Pro Bowl return man as a rookie and led the Bears in receiving yards in 2010 and 2011. If not for his horrific, career-ending injury in 2011, he would have been the ideal slot complement to Brandon Marshall.

Drafted with consecutive picks, Harriott never played a snap for the Bears while Krenzel banged out a few wins his rookie year. But this is a collective miss, considering a running back from NIU named Michael Turner was still on the board.


BEST – Chris Harris, safety, 2005

WORST – Dan LeFevour, quarterback, 2010

Chris Harris became a starter his rookie year on a division-winning Bears team, and was a solid player in the Super Bowl season. The Bears foolishly traded him to Carolina before the 2007 season, where he led the league with eight forced fumbles.

And unlike quarterback Joe Webb, taken 18 spots later, quarterback Dan LeFevour never even earned a preseason start, let alone a playoff start and the chance to be tossed around on national TV by the Packers.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @ReadJack.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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