The 2014 NFL draft is in the books. The Bears addressed a few obvious needs at DT, QB, in the secondary and surprisingly at punter. Like most drafts, there were some picks I really liked, some that I’m not sure on, and some that I didn’t like at all. In one of the deepest drafts in history, I expected to be a little happier right now, but I am satisfied and will give Emery the benefit of the doubt. Overall I give the Bears a solid B and explain why at the end of the post. Here is a quick recap and my take on each of the Bears picks.
Round 1: Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6’0, 190) – Grade B+
I had my heart set on Aaron Donald since the beginning of the off-season, but I’m not disappointed with Fuller. The Bears starting corners are both over 30, so drafting a young defensive back was a priority coming into the draft. I figured it was going to be in the middle rounds, but have no problem with the Bears using an early pick if they felt Fuller was the right guy.
I had Fuller rated as my 3rd CB overall, but I felt he was the second best fit for the Bears scheme (Dennard #1). Phil Emery focused on his aggression against the run and willingness to mix it up as differentiators for Fuller and I agree. He was one of the toughest run defenders in the draft at the corner position, but is also very smooth in coverage and excels covering short to intermediate routes. Fuller got better every year at VT and if he continues to improve he should be in the starting lineup by 2015. As for 2014, I think Fuller will lock up the slot corner role and even push Tillman for the #2 spot. Wherever he ends up I think Fuller will see starter playing time as a rookie.