Chicago Bears Film Room: How Aaron Lynch can help Kylie Fitts
When watching Kylie Fitts you cannot help but be excited about what could potentially come
Kylie Fitts has everything you want in a sixth round pick. In terms of athleticism, he is a force player, which ups the ceiling to ten sack upside if he can find the playing time. Of course, he will first be looking to make a roster spot, and then have to compete with Sam Acho and Aaron Lynch for that.
Still, in terms of path to a roster spot? I like his chances. Health is the obvious factor. Let’s push that aside. On video he offers a blend of everything you want. He likely is what Vic Fangio is looking for and Vic Fangio may have a perfect helper for some of the reasons why, medicals aside, Fitts was sitting here in round 6.
First, you are betting on upside. Athletically it is there and on tape you see it to match up with the combine numbers. He explodes off of the snap. Watch him as the left end as he explodes and shoves the right tackle backwards.
He can use speed, and bend to get around the edge in an efficient manner.
And he has the power to stand up offensive lineman and toss them aside.
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One thing that is worth noting is that he doesn’t really finish any of these plays where he shows that athletic upside. What goes around comes around and he got his sacks, but a lot of his most translatable reps were reps where he just missed. Still, Vic Fangio has to be enticed by the hand technique that presents a base to build on.
Watch the play below. Hands on the shoulder pads as he rips through and bends around the line.
The ability to get his hands high and leverage his strength could remind Fangio of Aaron Lynch, who he brought in to Chicago after drafting him in Chicago. For Lynch, it was the swim that he used to get to the quarterback.
Lynch fell into round five with motor issues, maybe as bad of a bet as Fitts. Still, Fangio bet on Lynch in round five and got some production. Lynch came in with the hands and ability to get around the edge quickly.
The Bears obviously did not draft Kylie Fitts because he thought his hand work reminded him of Aaron Lynch coming out. Still, when it comes to one of the bigger weaknesses that Fitts shows on video, a strength that Aaron Lynch brings could make Fitts the perfect fit. (boom)
Setting the edge
Kylie Fitts is an aggressive, upfield penetrating player. In that regard, he can get on the field early and effect running lanes.
However, when it comes to shedding blocks, if he loses the sprint out of the gate, he struggles to disengage from blocks. Moving laterally to defend the run, Fitts is not quite the guy you want to set the edge yet. As you can see he is setting the edge against a tight end. The tight end gets hands on him and wins the battle.
This is not a strong attempt by the Arizona tackle. Gets Fitts on the ground, though.
And below, Kylie Fitts gets sucked inside, makes up for it, and completely whiffs on the tackle. Setting the edge is going to be something that he has to prove he is reliable in doing to get on the field for the Chicago Bears. Leonard Floyd plays off of the ball, in space more than your typical pass rushing option would. That is why you drafted Floyd, versatility is key in the NFL today. Still, that means you need a strong, edge setting run stuffer to counter him.
Fitts is big and strong enough to be taught up by a strong run defender in Aaron Lynch. Fitts weighs 263 pounds currently, and while Lynch weighs more today, he came out at 249 in the draft. On top of that, Fitts out benched Lynch 31 to 18 at the combine. However, Lynch is going to get the snaps because of his run defense. When fully engaged, Lynch is a mad man on the edge.
He can shed blocks laterally, and wrap up ball carriers in space. This is arguably the biggest on the field weakness with Fitts. This is arguably the biggest on the field strength for Aaron Lynch.
Lynch knows how to leverage his hands into run stuffing and setting an edge.
Fitts and Lynch understand the power of hand usage. Coming from a smaller, weaker frame, Fangio got the most out of Lynch when it comes to his ability to set the edge. Given the higher ceiling in terms of athletic ability, Fitts pass rush upside is already higher than Lynch or Acho. If they can put Lynch and Fitts together and some of that run stuffing prowess, and lateral movement comes out, the Bears are getting Fitts on the field. For a sixth round pick, that is the type of bet you make.