Walter Payton -- 1975 (No. 4 overall)
When the Colts selected guard Ken Huff with the third pick in the 1975 draft, the Bears breathed a huge sigh of relief and grabbed running back Walter Payton from tiny Jackson State. "Sweetness" played all 13 seasons of his illustrious career in Chicago, retiring in 1987 as the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 16,726 yards. He helped the Bears win their first Super Bowl in 1985, was voted to nine Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
» 1975 NFL Draft | Photos: Payton through the years
Dan Hampton -- 1979 (No. 4 overall)
A key member of the Super Bowl XX champion defense, Dan Hampton was a dominant defensive lineman for 12 seasons with the Bears. The "Danimal" was voted to two Pro Bowls as an end and two more as a tackle, and was named to the NFL Team of the 1980s. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, Hampton was drafted after linebacker Tom Cousineau (Bills), defensive end Mike Bell (Chiefs) and quarterback Jack Thompson (Bengals).
» 1979 NFL Draft | Photos: Hampton through the years
Mike Singletary -- 1981 (No. 38 overall)
One of the best second-round draft picks in NFL history, Hall of Fame middle linebacker Mike Singletary anchored the Bears "46" defense for 12 seasons. He was voted to a franchise-record 10 Pro Bowls, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, and helped lead the famed 1985 Bears to their first Super Bowl championship.
» 1981 NFL Draft | Photos: Singletary through the years
Richard Dent -- 1983 (No. 203 overall)
The Bears unearthed a gem in the eighth round of the 1983 draft when they selected unheralded defensive end Richard Dent from Tennessee State. Dent played 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Bears, registering a franchise-record 124.5 sacks. The Hall of Famer was named Super Bowl XX MVP, was an integral part of a championship defense that is considered one of the best in NFL history and was voted to four Pro Bowls.
» 1983 NFL Draft | Photos: Dent through the years
Brian Urlacher -- 2000 (No. 9 overall)
The face of the Bears franchise for more than a decade, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was voted to eight Pro Bowls in 13 seasons. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and helped the Bears reach the Super Bowl in 2006 for the first time in 21 years. Urlacher started 180 of 182 games played, recording a franchise-record 1,779 tackles. He was selected NFL Rookie of the Year in 2000, and was a four-time All-Pro.
» 2000 NFL Draft | Photos: Dent through the years
Cade McNown -- 1999 (No. 12 overall)
Considered by many to be the most NFL-ready quarterback in a draft class that also included Donovan McNabb, Cade McNown lasted just two seasons with the Bears, compiling a 3-12 record as a starter. He held out as a rookie, told fans who booed him to stay home from games and once suggested that a receiver he had overthrown was probably too tired to catch up to the ball. McNown didn't only alienate fans and teammates, he once allegedly was banned from the Playboy mansion.
» 1999 NFL Draft
Joe Moore -- 1971 (No. 11 overall)
Joe Moore is in the Hall of Fame; unfortunately, it's the University of Missouri Hall of Fame. The running back became the school's all-time leading rusher, but he mustered a measly 281 yards and no touchdowns while playing in 23 games in two seasons with the Bears. Moore wasn't exactly the heir apparent to Gale Sayers, but at least the Bears drafted Walter Payton in 1975.
» 1971 NFL Draft
Bob Sapp -- 1997 (No. 69 overall)
After the Bears selected guard Bob Sapp in the third round of the 1997 draft, then-head coach Dave Wannstedt was quoted in the team's media guide saying: "He's the type of guy who can play in this league for 10 years." Sapp failed to make the season-opening roster and never played a down for the Bears. He has had a successful career, however, as a mixed martial artist, pro wrestler and actor who appeared in the 2005 movie "The Longest Yard" as an inmate/football player.
» 1997 NFL Draft
Curtis Enis -- 1998 (No. 5 overall)
The Bears spent their highest draft pick since choosing Jim McMahon fifth in 1982 on running back Curtis Enis, who exhibited bizarre behavior off the field and little production on it. Enis started his brief career with the Bears with a holdout and ended it three years later as a fullback.
» 1998 NFL Draft
Special thanks to Larry Mayer, senior web writer for the Chicago Bears, for contributing to the series.