There has been a lot of speculation that the Chicago Bears could select a safety with a high pick in next month’s Draft, but in reality, the safety of the future may already be on their roster.
If you’ve looked at any recent mock drafts, you’ve seen the Chicago Bears linked to players like safeties Jamal Adams, Jabrill Peppers or Malik Hooker. Those might be viable possibilities to bolster a defense that had a league low number of takeaways last season. But in reality, the Bears might have had their safety of the future on their roster for a while now.
The Bears free agent spending may be a good indicator for where they could be heading in the draft. The Bears have made a lot of additions in their secondary, adding cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper. That would lean toward not necessarily needing a cornerback when you add those pickups to their existing roster with the likes of Tracy Porter, Kyle Fuller and Deiondre Hall. But what if a couple of cornerbacks from last season’s roster made the move to help settle down the safety position?
At the NFL owner’s meeting in Arizona, Ryan Pace suggested that the Bears may be considering a position change for a couple of their defensive backs.
Hall made the kind of headlines that you don’t like when he was arrested last weekend visiting his old stomping grounds in Iowa. The Bears have yet to comment officially on his run-in with the law.
Hall showed flashes in his rookie season with three passes defended and an interception in nine games. He’s got good size and range and has experience playing safety in college.
The other candidate to make the move to safety is Kyle Fuller. Fuller showed his ball hawking skills in a breakout game in his rookie season when he picked off a couple of passes in a prime time game against the San Francisco 49ers. But he never regained the form of that game and quickly fell out of favor with the new coaching staff.
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Fuller had to undergo what was deemed as a “minor” knee procedure, but despite being designated for return off IR, he never returned last season. You could tell the coaches were frustrated he couldn’t get back on the field.
So could 2017 be a return to the field as a safety? Like Hall, Fuller played a little safety in college. In fact, it was his versatility that caught Phil Emery’s eye when the then-GM of the Bears selected Fuller with a first round pick in the 2014 draft.
You have to consider what time of year it is when Ryan Pace makes these comments about moving a current player to a new position. No, not April Fools season; it’s misinformation season. Pace benefits by making other GM’s think he doesn’t need a safety in the draft. I’m sure Pace would tell you he doesn’t need anything but “best available” when the Bears are on the clock next month.