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32-team challenge: Which NFL teams have drafted well the past five years?

Chicago Bears

NFL: 2017 NFL Draft
North Carolina Tarheels quarterback Michell Trubisky poses after being selected as the number 2 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017 NFL Draft in the books, many media outlet draft analysts have given their expert opinions on the winners and losers of the draft. But only a handful of teams have drafted well and set themselves up for future success. While teams like the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons have had success drafting, many teams have spent years drafting without any success — the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Washington Redskins to name a few.

Out of 32 NFL teams, which have had good drafts from 2012-2016? Which organizations can we trust to make the right decisions when evaluating talent to rebuild a franchise? Let’s begin with the NFC North. The Chicago Bears are on the clock.


Round 1: No. 19 Shea McClellin (DE), Boise State

Round 2: No. 45 Alshon Jeffery (WR), South Carolina

Round 3: No. 79 Brandon Hardin (FS), Oregon State

Round 4: No. 111 Evan Rodriguez (TE), Temple

Round 6: No. 184 Isaiah Frey (CB), Nevada-Reno

Round 7: No. 220 Greg McCoy (CB), Texas Christian

The Bears swung and missed in this year’s draft. Alshon Jeffery was the saving grace, but the star wide receiver is no longer with the Bears after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles this past offseason. Shea McClellin has declined each year since entering the league, and is now a member of the New England Patriots, but is a minimal contributor. The 2012 draft was a very forgettable one for the Chicago Bears.


Round 1: No. 20 Kyle Long (OG), Oregon

Round 2: No. 50 Jon Bostic (ILB), Florida

Round 4: No.117 Khaseem Greene (OLB), Rutgers

Round 5: No. 163 Jordan Mills (OT), Louisiana Tech

Round 6: No. 188 Cornelius Washington (DE), Georgia

Round 7: No. 236 Marquess Wilson (WR), Washington State

Similar to the 2012 draft, the Bears had a very underwhelming 2013 draft. Kyle Long is a very talented guard who is ranked among the best in the league, but suffered major injuries last season. Despite a full recovery, it’s unclear what form he’ll be in next season. The rest of this draft class was a bust for the Bears.


Round 1: No. 14 Kyle Fuller (CB), Virginia Tech

Round 2: No. 51 Ego Ferguson (DT), LSU

Round 3: No. 82 Will Sutton (DT), Arizona State

Round 4: No. 117 Ka'Deem Carey (RB), Arizona

Round 4: No. 131 Brock Vereen (SS), Minnesota

Round 6: No. 183 David Fales (QB), San Jose State

Round 6: No. 191 Pat O'Donnell (P) Miami (Fla.)

Round 7: No. 246 Charles Leno (OT), Boise State

Charles Leno has room for improvement, but the Bears have shown they believe he can develop into a capable starter. Pat O’Donnell has become a reliable punter, and Kyle Fuller has shown great potential at cornerback when healthy. The 2014 draft hasn’t produced great results for the Bears, but Fuller’s potential may be worth it.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett drops a pass in the end zone against Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports


Round 1: No. 7 Kevin White (WR), West Virginia

Round 2: No. 39 Eddie Goldman (DT), Florida State

Round 3: No. 71 Hroniss Grasu (C), Oregon

Round 4: No. 106 Jeremy Langford (RB), Michigan State

Round 5: No. 142 Adrian Amos (S), Penn State

Round 6: No. 183 Tayo Fabuluje (OT), Texas Christian

This will be a huge year for Kevin White. White has missed 28-of-32 games since entering the league due to a fractured left tibia, fibular spiral fracture, and severe ankle ligament damage. White had one of the most impressive combines out of anyone in the draft class, solidifying his top 10 draft status. He needs to have a very productive year to live up to the no. 7 pick overall, or the Bears will have to look elsewhere for production at the wide receiver position. Adrian Amos served as a capable starter last year, but he isn’t a lock for a starting role. Jeremy Langford had opened the season as the starter, but had an underwhelming couple of weeks before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Hroniss Grasu played inconsistently before suffering a torn ACL at training camp, and Eddie Goldman played very well before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. The talent from this class is there, but none of these players can seem to stay healthy on the field. If the players can put together healthy, productive seasons, this could end up being a great draft class for the Bears.

NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White (13) walks off the field after the second half against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports


Round 1: No. 9 Leonard Floyd (LB), Georgia

Round 2: No. 56 Cody Whitehair (C), Kansas State

Round 3: No. 72 Jonathan Bullard (DE), Florida

Round 4: No. 113 Nick Kwiatkoski (LB), West Virginia

Round 4: No. 124 Deon Bush (S), Miami (Fla.)

Round 4: No. 127 Deiondre' Hall (S), Northern Iowa

Round 5: No. 150 Jordan Howard (RB), Indiana

Round 6: No. 185 DeAndre Houston-Carson (S), William & Mary

Round 7: No. 230 Daniel Braverman (WR), Western Michigan

The Bears traded up to the No. 9 pick to select Leonard Floyd, who looked terrific as a pass-rusher in his rookie year. Unfortunately like many previous Bears’ draft picks, Floyd was plagued by injuries. He was concussed twice in his rookie year, limiting his production toward the end of the season. Cody Whitehair played well as the starting center, unexpectedly taking the spot from Ted Larsen. Both Jonathan Bullard and Nick Kwiatkoski worked their way into the defensive rotation, and running back Jordan Howard set the Bears' rookie rushing record, finishing the year with 252 carries for 1,313 yards and six touchdowns. If the Bears can get this high level of production from Floyd, Whitehair and Howard moving forward, it’ll be considered a fantastic draft class.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by Chicago Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd (94) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Overall assessment: Incomplete. The Chicago Bears have the talent on paper from the 2015 and 2016 classes, but the majority of their players can’t stay healthy. If they can overcome injuries, the Bears will have a bright future. Kevin White and Kyle Fuller will enter the year with a ton of pressure to perform at a high level.