Bears Select CB Kyle Fuller At No. 14 Overall

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, May 9, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
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    Nov 4, 2006
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    Bears Select CB Kyle Fuller At No. 14 Overall

    May 8, 2014 8:45 PM

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    (CBS) – The Bears drafted Virginia Tech[​IMG] cornerback Kyle Fuller with the No. 14 overall pick in Thursday night’s NFL Draft.
    Fuller, 22, a native of Baltimore, is 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. He attended Mount Saint Joseph High School[​IMG].
    It’s the first time since 1996 that the Bears have used their first-round pick on a cornerback. Jon Gruden called Fuller “his favorite corner in the draft” and compared him to Charles Tillman.
    More: Meet Kyle Fuller, Charles Tillman’s Replacement
    While he’s not a safety, Fuller is versatile and fills a need in the secondary, and he should figure into the rotation right away, be it at No. 2 cornerback, at nickelback or even safety if the coaches want to get creative.
    “We didn’t talk about it specifically, but coming in, I feel like they know I can play corner or nickel, possibly safety,” Fuller said. “Whatever it is, I’m a versatile player. I know they’ll put me in the best situation for myself and for the team.
    “I haven’t actually played safety. Some of the things we did at Virginia Tech was some safety stuff. but being able to line up… My skill set, as far as being able to play safety, I’m tough, physical, can come up and tackle. I haven’t played it, but I played corner and nickel, and I feel like I can do that.”
    Fuller has run a 4.49-second 40-yard dash and has a 38.5-inch vertical leap.
    “Definitely being a tough and physical player,” Fuller said of his strengths. “My ability to be versatile – being able to play corner, slot. My ability to tackle. I feel like I have a good knowledge of the game. And then overall, just my ability to make plays for my team.”
    Asked why he took Fuller instead of a safety, Bears general manager Phil Emery said he “decided on Kyle Fuller the player.” Emery also added that he when he saw Fuller was still available at No. 14, he wanted no part of a trade[​IMG]. He told those in his war room, “We’re not moving anywhere.”
    In a conference call shortly after being selected, Fuller said he was capable of playing safety even though he hasn’t done it before.
    The Bears brought Fuller in for a pre-draft visit and also went to Blacksburg to see him work out as well.
    Here was part of Bears beat writer Adam Hoge’s pre-draft analysis of Fuller:
    Strengths: Good height and length. Flips hips and changes direction fluidly. Closes fast to the ball and uses his long arms to break up passes. Doesn’t give up the home run. Length, combined with a 38.5 inch vertical will have some GMs drooling. Supportive[​IMG] against the run. Team captain.
    Weaknesses: Thin frame. Needs to get stronger. Limited press coverage experience. Tackling technique needs work (nearly knocked himself out against Alabama). Gives up separation sometimes and relies on his closing speed.
    Click here for Hoge’s full breakdown of Kyle Fuller.
    The Bears’ next scheduled picks are:
    –Round 2: No. 19 (No. 51 overall)
    –Round 3: No. 18 (No. 82 overall)
    –Round 4: No. 17 (No. 117 overall)
    –Round 5: No. 16 (No. 156 overall)
    –Round 6: No. 7 (No. 183 overall – acquired from Tampa Bay in trade for Gabe Carimi)
    –Round 6: No. 15 (No. 191 overall)
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
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    Nov 4, 2006
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    Bernstein: Let Fuller Be Himself
    May 9, 2014 9:29 AM

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    By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist
    (CBS) Just moments after general manager Phil Emery and the Bears selected Kyle Fuller at No. 14 overall last night, the Easy Story Express began chugging away, leaving the station quickly with too many people on board.
    Some convenient facts made this entirely predictable, if unfair to the people involved.
    Fuller hasn’t even been able to have this special time for himself, instead ceding much of the spotlight to the presence of teammate Charles Tillman, who is set for one last season, re-signed in March with much fanfare and celebration for his victory-lap campaign.
    Let’s get this out of the way: I love Charles Tillman. Love him as a player, certain that he is the best cornerback in the history of the franchise, wowed by his unique ability to create turnovers that emerged concurrently with the NFL’s new understanding of their significance. Assessed purely as the zone corner he was asked to be, he is one of the best to ever play.
    And count me among those who like and respect him as much – if not more – for his tireless off-field charity efforts, running his own foundation like a real 501(c)(3) and not some vanity project. While other NFLers make news for dubious reasons, Tillman has long been a mensch and a genuine point of pride in Chicago sports.
    But none of that entitles him to anything. If Fuller is better right now, he should start.
    Sports fans can’t ever get enough of the Jedi training myth, which casts an elder player as Obi-Wan Kenobi and the callow new arrival as Luke Skywalker, particularly when it involves a specific position. So begins an apprenticeship under the master, learning[​IMG] a new craft at his side until he proves worthy of stepping into the position.
    “Emery’s eyes on future[​IMG] by picking another Tillman,” reads a column’s sub-headline in today’s Chicago Tribune.
    It’s facile to grab onto this because Tillman is about done, and Fuller possesses similar size and skills. Still, any corner drafted in the first round would likely have been saddled with the burden of being some kind of theoretical Tillman redux instead of merely a really exciting cornerback prospect. You know who else is rangy, athletic and versatile? Almost every talented NFL defensive back.
    Early consensus seems to be that Fuller will be the third corner, covering slot receivers and pass-catching tight ends in the middle seams, with Tillman and Tim Jennings entrenched on either side. It’s arguable that nickel corner is a de facto starting spot nowadays, with the proliferation of three-receiver sets in a league that’s all about the passing game[​IMG]. Also informing this discussion is the likelihood that Tillman won’t make it through the year without injury.
    But there’s no time or place for feelings, not in this game, not at this level. The moment training camp opens in July, the Bears should be committed to putting the best players on the field and not allowing incumbency to cloud judgment.
    Nobody wants Paul Konerko starting over Jose Abreu — that’s is the point. Konerko is already having his moments in his cherry-on-top season, but in a much kinder, gentler sport that allows more easily for such sentimental transitions over a long, languid summer.
    The Bears have no time for that, with just 16 games[​IMG] and a difficult early schedule. Emery knows his team has a reasonable chance to win the Super Bowl this year, and he’s acting accordingly to reinforce a bad defense right now. It needs to be possible that Fuller can be a bigger part of that than seems widely presumed, pursuant to some story.
    Rather than shoehorn this kid into a shadow by already asking him to be the next Tillman, let’s just expect him to be the first Kyle Fuller.
    Follow Dan on Twitter @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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