The Chicago Bears have a new competition emerging from training camp between fullbacks Tyler Clutts and Harvey Unga. Clutts was signed by the Bears after being one of the last cuts from the Cleveland Browns last season while Unga was a suplemental draft pick by the Bears two-seasons ago and has been dealing with some off-the-field issues.
Going into camp, Clutts seemed like a lock as the Bears fullback. He proved to be very valuable in the blocking role and picked up the offense quickly. On the other hand, Unga did come to camp with the team but had to leave due to personal issues. He went through the same thing the previous season.
While I think Clutts did a solid job last season, Unga’s upside makes him a very intriguing choice. While at BYU, Unga was considered one of the nation’s top running backs before having to declare for the draft due to the pregnancy of his girlfriend (now wife). Under strict BYU laws, premarital sex is not allowed and Unga would have been forced off the team. He has shown flashes in training camp and a few moments during the preseasons, but has remained a mystery.
Unga originally projected as a running back. He was supposed to be like Michael Bush; a strong inside runner with surprising quickness. Now that Bush is on the team and Kahlil Bell projects as the third running back, Unga has been forced into the fullback role.
I cannot see the Bears carrying two fullbacks UNLESS; The Bears decide to carry three tight ends and two fullbacks. The Bears have four tight ends in camp that they like. Assuming that veterans Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth and locks, and this year’s fourth-round draft choice Evan Rodriguez has been fairly impressive, last year’s undrafted rookie Kyle Adams may be the odd-man out. If Adams doesn’t make the roster, Klutts or Unga may have an additional lifeline. Frankly, I think Unga deserves a shot and think his upside has to be attractive to the Bears. They’ve kept him around despite the off-the-field concerns, so there has to be something they like about him moving forward. I also like Clutt’s versatility and abilities on special teams. I just don’t think Adams has the upside or value that Clutts and Unga bring to the table. This may be the only thing that keeps both guys on the roster.
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