Chicago Bears: 15 Greatest First Round Picks of All-Time
Mike Ditka became the Bears head coach in 1982. One thing was clear to him as he took the reins of the offense: this team needed a quarterback. So it wasn’t a shock that the Bears used the No. 5 overall pick to draft Jim McMahon.
When you sit down and look at McMahon’s career numbers, they are pretty underwhelming, especially for the No. 5 overall selection. McMahon never threw for 3,000 yards and never threw for 20 touchdowns.
In fact, he didn’t even throw for 20,000 yards in his entire career. To put that in perspective, Blake Bortles is only 3,000 career passing yards behind McMahon. But stats don’t really tell the story when it comes to McMahon.
McMahon quickly became the leader of the Bears’ offense. He had a knack for making big plays, showed the ability to make clutch throws and lead the team back from behind when needed.
When McMahon played, his team’s won. He tallied a 67-30 career record in 97 career starts, but as most Bears’ fans know, McMahon’s career was derailed by injuries.
Had McMahon stayed healthy, there’s a good chance the Bears could have cemented that team as a dynasty with a second Super Bowl title. McMahon would have elevated himself to one of the better quarterbacks in the 1980s.
But without McMahon, the team won just the one title in 1985 and were never quite able to put together another season without him being healthy. Despite the injury struggles, McMahon is still a fan favorite among Bears fans old enough to remember his reckless playing style.