With the 14th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears decided to pass on the top ranked safeties in the draft and selected Kyle Fuller, a cornerback from Virginia Tech. While there was a need for the team to add a CB at some point this weekend, I would have preferred to see them take either of the top safeties still on the board in Calvin Pryor or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Of course the Bears cannot see the future, and if they could have known how the rest of the first round would shake out, it would be interesting to see if they stayed with this choice. After the Bears took Fuller there was a run on safeties with the top 4 ranked players all coming off the board. Now if the Bears hope to add a starter at safety, which they desperately need, they will need to pull off some magic on day two. That being said, it is hard to predict the future, especially when it comes to the NFL Draft.
Fuller will definitely be able to step in and contribute on defense right away, and he even said in an interview right after being drafted that he will play anywhere the Bears ask him to play, including nickel or safety. In his four years as a Hokie, Fuller never lined up at safety so I wouldn’t imagine the Bears moving him, especially given that he will most likely become the heir apparent to the aging Charles Tillman, who only has one year left as a Bear. In his 42 games played at Virginia Tech Fuller amassed 173 tackles, 4.5 sacks, intercepted six passes and broke-up 21 others.
Taking everything into consideration, I’d give the Bears a B- on this pick. Fuller has great intangibles and should develop nicely behind Tillman this season, though I would have much rather been writing on their selection of Clinton-Dix or Pryor based on the level of play from the safety position the last few seasons.