Mike Wallace nearly a Bear?
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Mike Wallace thought he was headed to Chicago.
I was always in contact with the [Bears]. It just seemed like that was the most interested team. But I guess not. ” -- Mike Wallace, on the 2009 draft
After a standout collegiate career at Ole Miss, the speedy receiver attracted plenty of attention leading up to the 2009 NFL draft from the Chicago Bears, who needed help at the position.
"I used to talk to them the most out of any team," Wallace said Wednesday during the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl media availability. "I was always in contact with the team. It just seemed like that was the most interested team. But I guess not."
Multiple teams told Wallace he'd be selected in the second round, but the wide receiver remained on the board until pick No. 84. Even though receiver was a high priority for the Bears, general manager Jerry Angelo moved out of the second round -- the Bears sent pick No. 49 to Seattle -- and used the first of two third-round choices (No. 68) on defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert.
Angelo then addressed the wideout spot by grabbing Oklahoma's Juaquin Iglesias at No. 99.
Neither Gilbert nor Iglesias remain on the Bears roster.
"The draft is some BS, that's how I feel about it," Wallace said. "When you talk to teams and they were like, 'You're not going any later than the second round,' like I said, I feel like it's some BS. It is what it is. I don't care about the draft. The draft was two years ago, I play for the Steelers now."
And the Steelers couldn't be happier.
Wallace turned in a respectable rookie campaign (39 receptions for 756 yards and six touchdowns) before emerging as one of Pittsburgh's top offensive threats in 2010. He caught 60 passes for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns in the regular season.
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.