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Bears Draft Wrap-Up

Best players picked at each slot in draft history

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Veteran pro football writer Rick Gosselin of Sports Illustrated's "The Talk of Fame Network" compiled a list of the best players ever selected at each of the first 259 slots in the history of the NFL Draft.

Thirteen Bears made the cut, including five Hall of Famers, three members of the 1985 championship team and one current player:

No. 3 Dick Butkus, middle linebacker (1965)

One of the most ferocious defensive players in NFL history, Butkus was voted to the Pro Bowl and selected All-Pro in each of his first eight NFL seasons. He was a two-time NFL defensive player of the year who was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1960s and 1970s. Butkus was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979 in his first year of eligibility.

No. 38 Mike Singletary, middle linebacker (1981)

Singletary was voted to a Bears-record 10 Pro Bowls. He was a two-time NFL defensive player of the year and was named to the league's All-Decade Team for the 1980s. Singletary helped lead the Bears to six NFC Central Division championships and the franchise's first Super Bowl title in 1985. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

No. 54 Stan Jones, guard (1953)

Jones played 12 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Bears from 1954-65 after arriving as a fifth-round draft pick. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls and was a three-time first-team All-Pro. He was a key member of the Bears' 1963 championship team and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1991.

No. 57 Devin Hester, return specialist (2006)

Hester spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Bears, becoming the NFL's most prolific return specialist. He rewrote the league record book, setting all-time marks with 18 kick return touchdowns and 13 punt return TDs. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for both the 2000s and 2010s, and he's eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year.

No. 68 Lance Briggs, linebacker (2003)

Briggs was selected to seven Pro Bowls in 12 seasons from 2003-14. He appeared in 173 games with 170 starts, recording 1,566 tackles, 15 sacks, 16 interceptions and 18 forced fumbles. His six defensive touchdowns are tied with Eddie Jackson for the third most in Bears history, and Briggs' five interception return TDs are second most.

No. 97 Todd Perry, guard (1993)

Solid but not spectacular, Perry spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Bears, appearing in 118 games with 97 starts at left guard. He finished his career by playing three years with the Miami Dolphins from 2001-03, starting 47 of a possible 48 games at right guard.

No. 107 Allan Ellis, cornerback (1973)

Ellis spent seven of his eight NFL seasons with the Bears, recording 22 interceptions while appearing in 94 games with 81 starts. He became the first Bears cornerback voted to the Pro Bowl in 1977 after recording six interceptions for the second straight year. He finished his career in 1981 with the San Diego Chargers, appearing in 11 games with six starts.

No. 112 Eddie Jackson, safety (2017)

A fourth-round pick, Jackson has been voted to two Pro Bowls in his first four seasons with the Bears and was named first-team All-Pro in 2018 when he helped the team win the NFC North with a 12-4 record. Jackson's six defensive touchdowns are tied with Lance Briggs for third in franchise history behind Charles Tillman (9) and Mike Brown (7).

No. 119 George Blanda, quarterback/kicker (1949)

A 12th-round draft pick, Blanda spent the first 10 seasons of his NFL record 26-year career with the Bears from 1949-58. He exited as the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 541 points, but now ranks fifth. Blanda was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1981.

No. 137 Johnny Morris, receiver (1958)

Morris spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the team and remains the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards with 5,059. He ranks third with 356 receptions and is tied for fifth with 31 touchdown catches. Morris was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1960, name first-team All-Pro in 1964 and was a key member of the Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.

No. 203 Richard Dent, defensive end (1983)

Dent played 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Bears and remains the franchise's all-time leader with 124.5 sacks. He was a key member of the 1985 Bears championship defense and was named MVP of Super Bowl XX. Dent was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2011. Dent also holds the Bears record for post-season sacks with 10.5.

No. 219 Mark Bortz, guard (1983)

Sixteen picks after they drafted Dent, the Bears selected Bortz, a defensive lineman at Iowa who they converted to offense. Bortz played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Bears. A reserve as a rookie, he started all 155 games he played over his final 11 years. Bortz appeared in 13 post-season contests, the most by an individual in franchise history.

No. 246 Charles Leno Jr., left tackle (2014)

A seventh-round pick from Boise State, Leno was promoted to the No. 1 offense four weeks into his second season in 2015 and held that job through last year, making 93 straight starts. Leno was named to the Pro Bowl in 2018 after the Bears won the NFC North title with a 12-4 record. He was released May 3 to create salary cap space.

Here are five Bears you may feel are worthy of being on the list and the players who were chosen at those spots:

No. 4

Bears running backs Gale Sayers (1965) and Walter Payton (1975) and defensive lineman Dan Hampton (1979)

Gosselin's pick: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene (1969)

No. 5

Bears tight end Mike Ditka (1961)

Gosselin's pick: Atlanta Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders (1989)

No. 9

Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (2000)

Gosselin's pick: San Diego Chargers receiver Lance Alworth (1962)

Fields, Jenkins, Borom, Herbert, Newsome, Graham & Tonga. See photos of all the new Bears rookies selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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