Devin Hester-KR-Miami-Round 2 2006:
Hester probably slipped in the 2006 draft because he never found a position at Miami. He played some at cornerback, some at receiver, but excelled at neither position. But he was a dynamic kick returner, bringing back six kicks in college for touchdowns. Since the Bears were already a playoff team in 2005, Angelo probably felt he had the flexibility to take Hester on his dynamic special teams ability alone, even if he never excelled at a regular position. And did Angelo’s gamble ever pay off. As a rookie, Hester returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. His punt return for a TD at Arizona on Monday Night Football won the game for the Bears. Again on MNF later in the season at St. Louis, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. During the 2007 season, Hester returned four punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. He was moved from cornerback to receiver by the Bears in 2007, but still has not distinguished himself. In 2008 he signed a big-money contract extension basing his pay on his receiving stats, then suffered through two seasons without a return touchdown. But he roared back in 2010 and 2011, scoring three touchdowns on returns in each season. Hester is now the NFL’s all-time leading kick returner in terms of total touchdowns. Hester should be a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his return skills. Jerry Angelo might have taken heat for overall poor drafting, but he hit a home run for the ages with this gambling pick.