In preparation for the 2010 season opener against the Lions, the Chicago Bears made final roster cuts this past weekend. The most notable cuts included Josh Beekman, Al Afalava, Jarron Gilbert and Juaquin Iglesias. All 4 of these players were drafted by Jerry Angelo over the last several years and 2 of them (Afalava and Beekman) started a majority of the games last year. The 2010 roster cuts are another reflection of the poor job Angelo has done building the Bears through the draft.
Jerry Angelo started running Bear’s drafts in 2002. No one from that draft remains with the team. Alex Brown and Marc Colombo are at least average players but reside on different NFL rosters now. 2003 was the year Angelo traded down and drafted Grossman and Haynes in the 1st Round. That didn’t turn out so great but Grossman did find a place as a backup in Texas and now Washington. Chicago did find steals in Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs who both remain productive starters going into this year. 2oo4 brought the Bears Tommie Harris, “shoot ’em up” Tank Johnson, Bernard Berrian and Nathan Vasher. Only Tommie Harris remains with the team but is a shell of his former self though he continues getting paid like a pro bowler. Berrian received a big paycheck to be a 3rd option on the Vikings. Out of the 2005 draft Chris Harris is the only draftee still with the team but he just returned this year after spending a few years on the Panthers. This draft also brought Cedric Benson and Kyle Orton who have been released and traded, respectively. Only 3 of 7 picks from the 2006 draft are still playing for the Bears (Daniel Manning, Devin Hester and Mark Anderson). Manning has been moved multiple times and has only really stood out on special teams as a kick returner, Anderson has been average on the defensive line and Hester was a stand out his first few years. Only time will tell if Hester’s impact on the team will return. Only 1st Round pick Greg Olsen has shown true promise out of the 2007 draft. Wolfe and Graham are special team contributors but have not been able to crack the starting line up. 2008 and 2009 are too fresh to fully judge but I see no future offensive or defensive pro bowlers in this group.
This list has too many players no longer with the team including the above named Al Afalava, Jarron Gilbert and Juaquin Iglesias. No one should expect every draft to produce 4 pro bowlers and 3 other starters but having only 21 out of 71 (30%) draftees remaining on the team is unacceptable. Unlike the NBA, a professional football team relies on the draft to sustain success. Under the thumb of Jerry Angelo the Chicago Bears have produced a handful of Bear pro bowlers half of them being on special teams. With only a couple years remaining on his contract, Angelo broke the bank this off season with hopes of turning around his struggling team. Typically, the past predicts future results so don’t expect much from any future drafts the Bears franchise allows Jerry Angelo to run.