With their first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bears selected cornerback Kyle Fuller out of Virginia Tech, addressing one of their many needs on defense.
The move came as a bit of a surprise to some, as the Bears had their choice of the top safeties on the board in Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Safety, of course, was a huge problem for the Bears last year and ultimately cost them the NFC North crown and a spot in the playoffs.
But the Bears elected to choose Fuller, who was the top player on their board when pick No. 14 rolled around. Fuller was announced as a “defensive back,” rather than cornerback, fueling speculation that the Bears might consider him to play safety. And although Bears GM Phil Emery raved about Fuller’s versatility, he noted that a move to safety was not in the cards for Fuller.
Fuller comes from good pedigree. He is the brother of Vincent Fuller (former Tennessee Titans safety) and Corey Fuller (current Lions wide receiver).
Fuller has good size for a corner and plays with good instincts. He could be a leader of the secondary some day as he was a team captain with a good head on his shoulders.
Some negatives about him are his technique — an obvious trait for most college players that will improve once NFL coaches get their hands on him — and he has room to get stronger.
With the Bears keeping their starting cornerback tandem of Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings intact for at least this coming season, don’t expect Fuller to line up outside as a starter in his rookie year. But as a player selected that high, he will contribute immediately, possibly as the nickel back. With the Bears facing quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, and Drew Brees this year, there’s a good chance Fuller will see plenty of time on the field to help defend the pass.