Most drafts are hit or miss. Hopes are high, but the reality is teams hope to plug in a starter or two and add some depth and developmental projects. For the Bears, that would have been welcomed with some of their recent drafts. Last weekend the NFL celebrated their “Class of ’83”, which yielded several Hall of Famers and of course the “big three” quarterbacks – John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. The Bears’ Class of ’83 was a key to their magical 1985 season and Super Bowl XX win. Just look at the selections.
Round 1 (#6 overall) – Jimbo Covert, OT, Pitt
Covert turned into the starting left tackle and a perennial Pro Bowler. He anchored the Bears offensive line into the 90’s.
Round 1 (#18) – Willie Gault, WR, Tennessee
He’s speedy Willie and he’s world class… Gault provided the vertical threat and opened up the Bears offense against defenses that were hell bent on stopping Walter Payton.
Round 2 (#33) – Mike Richardson, CB, Arizona State
“LA Mike” was a key defensive back for the ’85 squad.
Round 3 (#64) – Dave Duerson, DB, Notre Dame
Rest in peace double D.
Round 4 (#91) – Tom Thayer, OG, Notre Dame
Back to back Domers? If they hadn’t drafted Thayer, who would yell “Ball!” on every fumble during Bears broadcasts. Another Bears staple.
Round 8 (#203) – Richard Dent, DE, Tennessee State
Best value pick ever? How did this future Hall of Famer slide past 202 other spots in the draft?
Round 8 (#219) – Mark Bortz, OG, Iowa
Another starting offensive lineman.
The Bears had 13 total picks in the 1983 draft and hit big on six of them. By their third year, these six picks were key contributors to a championship.
That, my friends, is how you build a championship team. It is built with strong drafts and having guys mature and flourish in their roles. The Bears drafted 60% of their starting Super Bowl offensive line and half of their Super Bowl starting defensive backs in this draft. And that’s not to even mention Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XX MVP Richard Dent.
If the 2014 Bears hope to be a serious Super Bowl contender, they need to hit big on at least three of their seven picks to plug holes on defense and add some quality depth behind their established starters. So far, Phil Emery has shown us flashes. It’s time to put everything together in his third draft.