Power Ranking the Top 10 Draft Classes in Chicago Bears History

Chicago Bears, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman
Chicago Bears, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman / Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
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Number 4: 1981 Chicago Bears Draft Class

Next on the list is the Chicago Bears' 1981 draft class, headlined by second-round selection linebacker Mike Singletary. Singletary won two Defensive Player of the Year awards in his 12 seasons with the Bears and was an integral part of the franchise's lauded 1985 defense. Singletary is a shining star in a constellation of great Bears linebackers, and it is hard to imagine the defenses of his era having the same identity without his contributions.

Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary
Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary / RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of Singletary, the team found several quality players who contributed to the team's Super Bowl run of the near future, including first-round offensive tackle Keith Van Horne, who logged 169 regular season starts in 13 years with the Bears. Third-round receiver Ken Margerum and fourth-round defensive back Todd Bell were both solid additions as well, although the latter missed out on the team's Super Bowl run due to a contract dispute. Seventh-round defensive back Jeff Fischer was also a strong contributor before becoming an NFL head coach.

Number 3: 1975 Chicago Bears Draft Class

The Chicago Bears' 1975 draft class is coming in as the bronze medal finisher, but it is easy to argue that they could be even higher on the list. In the first round, the Bears picked a transcendental player in running back Walter Payton, who would completely rewrite the franchise's record books during his 13-year, Hall of Fame career in Chicago. Notably, Payton was awarded the Most Valuable Player award in 1977 after racking up 2,121 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns, both of which led the league that season.

Chicago Bears, Walter Payton
Chicago Bears, Walter Payton / RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

However, Payton was far from the only star that the Bears picked up in the draft, as 12th-round safety Doug Plank went on to log 15 interceptions across eight seasons en route to being the inspiration for the naming of the famed "46 defense". Second-round defensive end Mike Hartenstine's 55 sacks with the Bears are ranked sixth most in team history, and the team also found solid contributors in fourth-round defensive back Virgil Livers, fifth-round guard Revie Sorey, sixth-round quarterback Bob Avellini, and 17th-round running back Roland Harper.