By Bryan Dietzler
The Chicago Bears have been an NFL team since 1920. They were one of the leagues first franchises and are, perhaps, the most well known in league history. Chicago has won multiple championships, they have sent many players to the Pro Bowl and have the most players in the Hall of Fame o any NFL team. They are a near model franchise although they haven’t been winning a lot of games these last few years.
Winning games can be helped by key players that a team brings in through the draft. They can develop thee players and hopefully they will impact sooner than later. The Bears have had several strong draft picks in their long history, that have helped them win games. Some are well known while others are not household names.
The NFL Draft first came into existence in 1936. It was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (the site of this year’s draft) and was put in place to help even the playing field for all NFL teams.
The Bears have had numerous number one draft picks over the course of their long history but only just a few have really stood out. There are those we know very well like Walter Payton, Mike Ditka and Gayle Sayers. Then there are those first rounders that are not so well known like Joe Gray, Stan Wallace and Lionel Antione.
Of the multitude of first round picks the Bears have had, many are guys that we have already forgotten. But there are a few that stand out as being some of the best players in Chicago Bears and NFL history.
Let’s look at a few of the most well-known first round picks in the history of the Bears. Are there any that you feel should be recognized that are not on this list? Who is the best first round pick in Bears’ history?
If you want to start off with a list of the best first rounders in Bears history, perhaps you should start from the very beginning. The very first draft pick in the history of the franchise, offensive tackle Joe Stydahar (West Virginia) ended up becoming a Hall of Fame member. In fact, three of their first six draft picks were inducted into the Hall of Fame. They include offensive lineman/linebacker Clyde “Bulldog” Turner and quarterback Sid Luckman (along with Stydahar). Needless to say, the Bears started off their efforts in the NFL draft right.
Their success in the draft early on helped make them one of the better teams in the NFL. The Bears, led by owner George Halas, had figured out how to draft the right players and make the team a winner. Halas was one of the greatest football minds of his time.
Chicago had some well-known draft picks in the early and mid-40′s including Michigan’s Tom Harmon, quarterback Johnny Lujack from Notre Dame, and eventual Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne from Texas. These names will ring bells with anyone who is a fan of Bear’s history.
We will …
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