The NFL Draft has never been an exact science. There have been No. 1 overall picks who go on to be major busts, while undrafted players have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers. Back when Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Richard Dent entered the 1983 NFL Draft he was taken with the 203rd overall selection. He went on to put together a stellar career with the organization despite being a late-round selection.
CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso recently ranked the top 100 value draft picks and a total of five Bears selections made the list. The highest spot on the list went to Dent at No. 12.
He played with the Bears between 1983 and 1993 before a one-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. He returned to the Bears for the 1995 season before spending his final two years in the league with the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XX, was a four-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro. Dent also led the NFL in sacks during the 1985 season.
Following an average first season in the league in 1983, Dent came into his own in his second year in 1984. He ended that season with 17.5 sacks before recording 17 sacks the following year. He racked up 11.5 sacks in 1986 and 12.5 sacks in 1987. The 1988 season saw him record 10.5 sacks followed by nine sacks in 1989. He recorded 12 sacks in 1990, 10.5 sacks in 1991, 8.5 sacks in 1992 and 12.5 sacks in 1993. Dent ended his NFL career with 137.5 sacks and 124.5 of them came during his 12 seasons with the Bears.
Other Bears on the list included quarterback/placekicker George Blanda at No. 28, offensive lineman Dan Fortmann at No. 30, offensive lineman Stan Jones at No. 39 and linebacker Mike Singletary at No. 67.
Blanda began his career with the Bears in 1949. He remained with the Bears through the 1958 season. A quarterback and placekicker, Blanda threw for 5,936 yards with 49 touchdowns and 70 interceptions during his time with the Bears. Most of his recognition came when he was playing for the Houston Oilers and later for the Oakland Raiders. He played an NFL record 26 seasons and retired after the 1975 season. He was later named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Fortmann is another Hall of Famer for the Bears organization. A ninth-round pick in 1936, Fortmann played his entire career with the Bears between 1936 and 1943. He ended his run with the team with three NFL championships, three Pro Bowl nods and was a seven-time All-Pro. He was also a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1930s.