Lance Briggs was one of Jerry Angelo's shining draft picks.
Jerry Angelo's drafting tenure with the Bears has been up and down, but he has had the foresight to pick up some hidden gems through the draft. Which of Jerry's picks have shined?
1. Lance Briggs, 4th round, 2003: In the same draft as Rex Grossman and Charles Tillman, Angelo picked up Briggs, who has followed in the tradition of great Chicago linebackers. Though he's often overshadowed by Brian Urlacher, Briggs has been an important part of the Bears defense since his rookie season. Six Pro Bowls, 12 interceptions and 97 tackles a season from a fourth-rounder? That's good value.
2. Devin Hester, 2nd round, 2006: Sure, he was a receiver coming out of Miami and he's done an above-average job at WR in Chicago, but that's not why people talk about Hester. His kick- and punt-returning ability has become the stuff of legend, as he is always a danger to score when in the backfield. Even when he doesn't make it to the end zone, he gives the Bears' offense a good starting point, which has been invaluable when the offense sputters.
3. Matt Forte, 2nd round, 2008: In three years with the Bears, Forte has become a steal. The 1,238 yards from his first season put him ninth on the Bears single-season rushing list. (Number 1-8? Walter Payton.) He dealt with injury his second season but rebounded to become an all-purpose player under Mike Martz in 2010, becoming the Bears' top rusher and second-best receiver.
4. Johnny Knox, 5th round, 2009: It's early in Knox's career, but it's not often that a team's top receiver comes from the fifth round of the draft. That's exactly what Knox was in 2010, as he was relied upon to connect with Jay Cutler for long bombs. Speed and work ethic make Knox a big ball of potential.
5. Tommie Harris, 1st round, 2004: Though his last few seasons in Chicago were rough, Harris was a key part of the Bears' 2006 Super Bowl run, and he made three Pro Bowls as an offensive juggernaut. He also makes the list because he is one of the few No. 1 picks that weren't complete busts. (Greg Olsen is the other.)
Check back tomorrow for the list of Jerry's picks that didn't fare so well.