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Bears hit big in eighth round in 1983 with Richard Dent

Hall of Famer Richard Dent arrived in Chicago a skinny, eight-round draft choice out of Tennessee State in 1983.

A second- or third-round talent, Dent struggled to keep weight on in college because of dental issues. Once the Chicago Bears identified and corrected the problem, Dent put on 40 pounds and became one of the NFL's greatest pass-rushers of all time. He lasted in the NFL until 1997, retiring with 137.5 career sacks.

Dent, with 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three tackles, was the MVP of Chicago's Super Bowl XX victory. In the Bears' two playoff victories prior to reaching that Super Bowl, Dent was credited with a combined nine tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Dent won another Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.

The 6-foot-5 Dent had the uncanny ability to rush the quarterback using both power and speed. He was lightning-quick off the snap, which infuriated offensive tackles around the league. He posted eight double-digit sack seasons, recording 17.5 sacks in 1984 and 17 in 1985.

Selected to four Pro Bowls and voted first-or second-team All-Pro four times, Dent was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Honorable mention

Shaun Gayle, defensive back, Ohio State: The Bears found Gayle in the 10th round in 1984. A member of the Super Bowl XX championship team, Gayle played in the NFL until 1995. He returned a botched punt attempt for a touchdown in the Bears' 1985 playoff victory over the New York Giants.

Roland Harper, running back, Louisiana Tech: Taken in the 17th round in 1975, Harper played on the Bears until 1982. Harper teamed with the legendary Walter Payton in Chicago's backfield, rushing for 992 yards in 1978. He also scored a career-high eight touchdowns that season.

Charles Leno, offensive tackle, Boise State: A former seventh-round choice in 2014, Leno is now the Bears' starting left tackle, charged with protecting quarterback Jay Cutler's blindside. Leno won the job on a permanent basis last year after veteran Jermon Bushrod suffered a concussion in Week 3.