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Chicago Bears 2008 draft class still impressive with Chris Williams

The Chicago Bears may have just released 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams, but that doesn't mean it was a bad draft by any means.

Mike Ehrmann

On Tuesday, the Chicago Bears released Chris Williams, the team's first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Williams was No. 14 overall, and was pushed literally to the back of the line, falling behind multiple players at tackle and guard positions this season. Still, as noted by ESPN, the Bears didn't exactly have a poor draft class in 2008, despite Williams earning the "bust" label:

The 2008 group also leads the way in combined games started in a Bears uniform by any individual draft class under Angelo going back to 2005. Of course, several picks along the way were traded to add veteran players who thrived in Chicago, such as defensive end Adewale Ogunleye (2005), special teams ace/linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (2006) and quarterback Jay Cutler (2009). But even taking into account those players, the 2008 class leads the way with 181 combined starts from 2005-09.

Earl Bennet had a quote in the piece in which he notes that he and the rest of the players have noted the team's drafting strength already, and that it's a good accomplishment. Craig Steltz also spoke to it, and said it was a good class, saying that he's proud to play with guys like Matt Forte, Bennett and Kellen Davis. It's true that all of those players are big contributors.

Forte in particular is a big contributor, as the Bears like to run the entire offense through him. He's a Pro Bowl-caliber back (and has made the Pro Bowl in the past), and he'll definitely be considered the crowning achievement of the draft class.