Ranking Bears' biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

We'll leave quarterbacks out of this.
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages
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1. Eddie Jackson

Drafted: 4th round, 2017

For my money, Jackson's the best draft gem of the last decade. And I don't think it's even close. Jackson was a high school wide receiver who changed positions at, of all places, Alabama, and was drafted the same year he fractured his leg in a Tide win over Texas A&M.

He fell to the Bears in the 4th round and ... immediately started all 16 games as a rookie. His ability to make plays on the ball stood out from the start: in his first year, he had two interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble. His next year, in 2018, Jackson was arguably the best safety in football. He was named to the NFL's First Team All Pro defensive team, had *six* interceptions, and led the league in defensive touchdowns. He was the most exciting player to watch on a historically good defense that included Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, and Kyle Fuller. The start of his career was so good, he made the team's Top-100 Players of All-Time list, which was released in 2019.

His career hasn't been the same since – he's dealt with injuries and a decline in production – but those first couple of years were electric. Here's to hoping he finds his form again with whatever team comes next.