When the Chicago Bears drafted Virginia Tech product Kyle Fuller with their first pick of this past NFL draft, reactions were mixed. Many Bears fans wanted defensive line help. Others wanted to draft a young prospect at safety. But GM Phil Emery had his mind made up that if Fuller was available when their 14th pick came around, he was going to be a Bear.
Sure enough, Emery got his guy. The Bears already had two Pro Bowl cornerbacks, but Emery was and remains confident that Fuller can make an impact this season. Through the first few days of training camp, Fuller has made Emery look brilliant in his selection.
It is only training camp, but Fuller has made some spectacular plays already, including multiple interceptions. He has been like a sponge with the veterans on the team, both on the offensive and defensive units. It will be very rare that Fuller is matched up against a receiver the size of Alshon Jeffery, Fuller’s main opponent the first few practices. This experience is going to be incredibly helpful to his growth and maturation process as an NFL cornerback.
So far, he has been working predominantly outside, with veteran Tim Jennings moving to the inside slot position when the Bears are in their nickel package. The nickel unit also includes Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic as the two linebackers. With the Bears’ new defensive linemen and potential starting safeties, this nickel package should see a ton of field time together and be one of the more athletic lineups in football.
Whether you loved or hated the pick of Fuller, I promise that you will grow to love him. Much like his positional teammate Charles Tillman, Fuller has a propensity for creating turnovers and finding the ball on bigger receivers. He will be an immediate contributor and he will continue to improve, the two biggest things your can ask of a first-round draft pick.
Fuller will continue to have a spotlight on him throughout camp and the preseason, and he will earn himself a spot not only in the Bears’ nickel package, but in the good graces of Bears fans. This guy is a player.