Chicago Bears history with top ten draft picks

6 of 8

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Starting in 1975, the Bears set up their roster to become a Super Bowl winner. It all started with Sweetness.

Walter Payton was the Bears’ number four pick out of Jackson State. Words cannot describe how great this Bear was. I can tell you he was a three-time MVP, a two-time Offensive Player of the Year, a six-time All Pro first team member, a nine-time Pro Bowl player and a Pro Bowl MVP. I can tell you he finished his career with 16,726 yards, most in NFL history, or 125 touchdowns, second all-time and 110 rushing touchdowns, most all-time at the time of his retirement.

All those stats still seem like they’re not enough to describe Sweetness. He is the most beloved Bear. He was a fierce competitor, and he had to be dragged off the football field. He missed just one game due to injury in his career.

Not only was Payton a beloved Bear, he was a beloved football player period. Many running backs, such as Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and Ahman Green among others molded their playing style from Payton.

The NFL honors Walter Payton every year with their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. It is awarded to a player who combines excellence on the field with voluntary and charitable work.

In 1979, with their number four pick, the Chicago Bears chose defensive tackle Dan Hampton out of Arkansas. Hampton was one of four defensive players that played in Super Bowl XX who ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Ditka loved how Hampton played the game and paid him the ultimate compliment when Hampton was inducted to the Hall of Fame. “A lot of times in football, it’s not so much the stat, but how you play the game,” Ditka said. “If that’s the measuring stick, then he played the game as well as anybody.”

In rounding out the Super Bowl winning team, the Bears drafted defensive end Al Harris out of Arizona State in 1979 with the ninth pick, quarterback Jim McMahon out of Brigham Young with the fifth pick in 1982 and offensive tackle Jom Covert out of Pittsburgh with the sixth pick in 1983.

Of course, as well as the Bears played with their picks, the Bears would not have another top ten pick until the start of the 1990’s.

Next: 1990-1999