Best/worst first-round picks since 2000: No. 1


Here is the final in a five-part series examining the Chicago Bears’ five best-and-worst first-round draft choices since 2000.

#1 Best

Name: Brian Urlacher, LB, New Mexico

Pick: 9

Year: 2000

Seasons with Bears: 2000-2012

Summary: Future Hall of Famer. Urlacher served as the face of the Bears’ franchise until he left town. One of the greatest linebackers of his generation, Urlacher led the Bears to four division titles and a berth in Super Bowl XLI. Named the 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and voted to eight Pro Bowls, Urlacher started 180 games and made a team-record 1,779 tackles. The middle linebacker also tallied 41.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and 22 interceptions. He was the unquestioned leader inside the Bears’ locker room who treated every single player with respect and generosity.

#1 Worst

Name: Michael Haynes

Pick: 14

Year: 2003

Seasons with Bears: 2003-05

Summary: The story goes that Haynes caught the Bears’ attention after he dominated Senior Bowl practices leading up to the 2003 NFL draft. Unfortunately, the Senior Bowl workouts turned out to be fool’s gold. So did Haynes’ 15.5 sack season at Penn State in 2002. Haynes had a combined 5.5 sacks from 2003-05. He started only four games. He never fit in Lovie Smith’s style of defense at either defensive end or defensive tackle. The Bears released Haynes in the summer of 2006. He later retired at 27.