By Drew Modjeski
“Over the Past 20” is a new series by Lynq Sports where we take a look at the best and worst of the sports world since 2000.
Drafting in the NFL is tough, but is also the most important job of the GM. Having a good draft through all seven rounds can set a team up for prolonged success. The Chicago Bears have always had a tough time drafting, and that trend has continued throughout the aughts. We are going to look at the worst draft picks by the Chicago Bears, but to make the task a little more challenging, only one player from each draft class can be included on the list.
10. Cedric Benson-RB (4th overall in 2005)
Cedric Benson did not have a terrible career by any means, but during his time in Chicago he never amounted to being worth the number four overall pick. Lasting just three seasons, Benson never ran for more than 700 yards in a season and only scored a total of 10 touchdowns. After leaving Chicago he ran for over 1000 yards in three of the next four seasons with the Bengals, proving that it wasn’t necessarily Benson’s fault it did not work out in Chicago. Still, certain expectations come when a player is drafted with one of the top picks in the draft, and Benson never lived up to those expectations while he was a Bear.
9. Leonard Floyd-OLB (9th overall in 2016)
The first of a few Ryan Pace picks to show up on the list, Floyd always showed promise to become an elite pass rusher in the NFL, but never did. After struggling with injuries in his first two seasons, Floyd finally played a full season during the Bears amazing 2018 season and their league best defense. He seemed like he was going to keep that momentum going into this past season as he recorded two sacks in the season opener. However, just like the Bears, Floyd was a disappointment and finished the season with three total sacks, and now is no longer a member of the Bears. For being a top ten pick, Floyd needed to have more of an impact on the game, especially when you have someone like Kahlil Mack on the other side taking up 2-3 blockers. Ultimately, Floyd did not do enough and finds himself just another tally in a long line of bad Bears picks.
8. Dan Bazuin-DE (62nd overall in 2007)
Bazuin was a second round pick in the 2007 draft, but he had as much of an impact on the Bears as any fool on his fifth beer watching the game in a sports bar. Bazuin would suffer a season-ending knee injury prior to the 2007 season, and after he needed another surgery in the summer of 2008, he was waived by the Bears before ever suiting up. He spent a hot minute on the Texans practice squad, but was out of the league shortly thereafter.
7. Shea McClellin–DE/LB (19th overall in 2012)
Shea McClellin was a member of the 2016 World Champion New England Patriots. That’s basically all the good that can be said about his career. During his time with the Bears, the Boise State product never really stood out from the pack. He struggled at DE early on his career, so the Bears switched him to LB where he improved a little, but not enough for a former first round pick. His best season came in 2015 where he only played in 12 games but was able to record 53 solo tackles. At least he got a rind in the end.
6. Gabe Carimi (29th overall in 2011)
One of the safest bets in the NFL Draft is to take a lineman out of Wisconsin. They almost always work out, but Gabe Carimi was one of the outliers. Carimi struggled with injuries his entire rookie season. When he finally got on the field in 2012 he was not good. On a famously bad offensive line, Carimi was one of the worst, and was off the Bears before the 2013 season. He bounced around the league for a few more seasons, but was out of the league after the 2014 season.
5. Ego Ferguson-DT (51st overall in 2014)
A second round pick out of LSU, Ego Ferguson was supposed to be a big stopper in the middle of the defensive line, similar to what Akiem Hicks is right now. Standing at 315 pounds, Ferguson didn’t have the impact many thought he would in his rookie season only recording 12 solo tackles and two sacks. Then everything went south fast in Ferguson’s career. He got hurt in October of 2015, was suspended a month later by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances and then was waived by the Bears before the 2016 season. He bounced around a few teams, but never played in a game after the 2015 season.
4. David Terrell-WR (8th overall in 2001)
The first, but not last, WR taken by the Bears in the top ten appears on this list. Terrell lasted longer on the Bears than most players on this list, he played four seasons, but he never showed anything. His last season on the Bears was his best as he caught 42 passes for 699 yards and 1 touchdown in 2004. Terrell never showed that he could be a number one wide receiver in the NFL, and after being drafted in the top ten, Terrell needed to be a great WR to not be a bust.
3. Adam Shaheen-TE (45th overall in 2017)
Oh boy this is going to be controversial. Yes, everyone expected Mitch “I love kissing tittess” Trubisky to take the spot for the 2017 draft, and while he deserves to be on this list, Adam Shaheen is a much worse pick. Hindsight is 20/20, but nobody knew that Patrick Mahomes was going to become one of the best QB’s the game has ever seen, and if he was drafted by the Bears I highly doubt he would have reached the same heights. Still, even Deshaun Watson would have been a better pick, but taking Mitch wasn’t some out of left field pick. He showed some talent at North Carolina, and has had some good games in the NFL. The Dallas and Washington games last year, the Tampa Bay game in 2018 and anytime he gets to beat up on the Lions proves that Tribs has some talent.
Now, what shred of talent has Adam Shaheen shown in his three years in the NFL to prove that he was worth a mid-second round pick, which is still a highly valuable pick. Does his 249 career receiving yards and 4 touchdowns prove it? How about his 26 career receptions? Truth is that Shaheen should never have gone that high in the draft. He was taken with a fifth or sixth round pick then that would have been fine. Oh, know who was drafted in the fifth round that season? George Kittle. Ryan Pace can’t draft offensive talent to save his life.
2. Michael Haynes–DE (14th overall in 2003)
It was tough to not pick Sexy Rexy for the 2003 draft, but the man that the Bears took eight picks before Rex Grossman is even worse. Michael Haynes started four total games in his three seasons in Chicago recording 5.5 sacks over those three years. The Bears didn’t do Haynes any favors by trading for Adewale Ogunleye, but Haynes was never good enough to justify playing on that great Bears D that Lovie Smith was building. In his final season, Haynes appeared in only 11 games in 2005, not starting in any of those 11 games, and he only recorded 10 solo tackles. He never played another game in the NFL.
1. Kevin White-WR (7th Overall in 2015)
Everyone knew what was going to be here. The first pick ever taken by Ryan Pace was easily his worst as Kevin White has been cited as one of, if not the, biggest bust in Bears history. He missed his entire rookie season due to injury, and suffered season ending injuries early on in the next two seasons. He was healthy in 2018, but by that time the Bears had moved on from White as he was only targeted 8 times. Injuries were a big reason White never got a chance in the NFL, but probably would not have been good if he was healthy. At West Virginia, Kevin White did not master the route tree as he really only ran one route, go straight. Being a great route runner is the key to becoming a great WR in the NFL, and White was doomed from the beginning.