CB Kyle Fuller A Solid Pick For Bears
“With the 14th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select Kyle Fuller, defensive back, Virginia Tech.”
The reaction to this pick was initially a bit of surprise, followed by praise. Many had predicted the Bears would draft a defensive tackle in Aaron Donald (who was taken one pick before the Bears by the Rams), or a safety in Calvin Pryor or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Bears certainly kept this pick quiet, though many suggested that Fuller had been moving up the draft boards unbeknownst to the public. Fuller was considered the third best corner in the draft, behind Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard.
Fuller, a 3 year All-ACC cornerback, is an excellent pick for the Bears. Prior to the draft, the talk surrounding the franchise was that they needed to address defensive needs; whether this need was more pressing in the trenches or in the secondary was left up in the air. Coming off a weak defensive season in 2013, lacking depth in the secondary, and having veteran defensive backs on the wrong side of 30 all contributed to the need for young, skilled playmakers.
Not only is Fuller a natural fit in the Chicago scheme, but he possesses three important intangibles: poise, instinct, and length. With his versatility as an athlete, aggressive, physical play, and ability to play zone and man to man coverage, he will look to make an immediate impact. Given his solid tackling skills and knack for punt blocking, he will likely lighten Charles Tillman’s workload on special teams. Fuller will have the benefit of veterans and pro-bowlers Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings serving as his teachers and mentors, and what better way to transition to the NFL than having the best of the best at your disposal?
My previous draft article stated that the Bears should select a corner and Darqueze Dennard should be their go to guy. Dennard was the third corner drafted, selected 24th overall by the Bengals. The question remains if he would have been a better fit for the Bears defensive scheme, and it will be interesting to see how he fares as compared to Fuller.
Grade: A. The Bears addressed their secondary needs, and found a great fit in Fuller. As an added bonus, he will learn from the best cornerbacks in the business, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. Check out Fuller’s impressive highlight reel here.