Free agency solved a lot of problems for the Chicago Bears. Did they supplement that success with a good 2014 NFL draft?
Round 1 – #14 – Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech
There really isn’t anything on the football field Kyle Fuller can’t do. He can play press. He can play zone. He can guard receivers, tight ends and running backs. He can shift to safety or blitz off the edge. He hits and he tackles. There is no glaring weakness to his game. A plug-and-play starter out of the 2014 NFL draft in an area the Bears need him.
Round 2 – #51 – Ego Ferguson – DT – LSU
Many questioned this pick but looking at it from the Chicago Bears perspective, it makes a ton of sense. While not the highest rated defensive tackle on the board at the time, Ego Ferguson rates universally high on the athletic scale despite being 6’3″, 315 lbs. He’s a space eater, country strong and is nearly impossible to run at. Developmental upside as a pass rusher as well.
Round 3 – #82 – Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State
Most agree that Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton was Aaron Donald in 2012 before Donald dominated in 2013. His 13 sacks that year demonstrated how devastating he is as an interior pass rusher. Unfortunately weight problems hampered him last season, but those problems appear in the past. If he recaptures that old form, this pick is an outright steal.
Round 4 – #117 – Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Arizona
Speed means way more at wide receiver than it does running back. Ka’Deem Carey showed at Arizona that vision, strength and agility can more than get the job done. He runs hard, doesn’t fumble and showed the versatility to catch passes and stonewall pass rushers. That and instincts will carry him far if he stays out of trouble. A perfect backup for Matt Forte.
Round 4 – #131 – Brock Vereen – FS – Minnesota
Lack of production was a big knock on safety Brock Vereen coming out of Minnesota but a variety of reasons from playing with little help to constantly switching between safety and corner did not aid his development. Vereen is a big athlete with range, instincts and leadership intangibles that can blossom if nurtured properly.
Round 6 – #183 – David Fales – QB – San Jose St.
They may be comfortable with Jordan Palmer but the Bears knew they still needed a young project at quarterback and David Fales is perfect for them. He’s a smart, savvy, rhythmic passer who demonstrated accuracy and good decision-making at SJSU. Marc Trestman’s offense should fit him like a glove.
Round 6 – #191 – Pat O’Donnell – P – Miami
Punting was an absolute nightmare for the Chicago Bears in 2013 and the field position problems it created can be argued to have cost them a couple games. Clearly Phil Emery is taking no chances here. Pat O’Donnell is a big, strong kid from a proven program and showed his improvement in 2013 by averaging 47.1 yards per punt.
Round 7 – #246 – Charles Leno Jr. – OT – Boise State
Marc Trestman values pass protection more than anything else regarding offensive football. Charles Leno is a big, nimble tackle with the long arms and athleticism to take on any type of pass rusher there is. His technique and lower body are underdeveloped as yet, but Aaron Kromer is a proven master at coaching up late rounders.
This is what you would call a sneaky good draft. It wasn’t a home run but the Chicago Bears addressed all of their needs with quality players who fit perfectly with their system and all have considerable upside.