Hopes are high for the Chicago Bears 2014 draft class. Based on early projections, which ones are in the running for biggest contributor?
Is it a good or a bad thing that word on 1st round pick Kyle Fuller has been eerily quiet? That depends on interpretation. Nothing bad has certainly come out of early practices. Coaches really like what they’re seeing from the Virginia Tech standout. His polish, toughness and intelligence are on full display, signaling he should play early and often for the new-look defense. It’s not clear yet how he will handle big boy receivers like Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery in pads, but one thing is clear. There is nobody better who can get him ready for the season.
The Chicago Bears pass rush was anemic in 2013. So to fix it they spent wildly in free agent at defensive end and then loaded up defensive tackle in the draft. One of their selections was Will Sutton from Arizona State. While last season was not that great for him, the young tackle was practically unblockable in 2012, collecting 13 sacks for the Sun Devils. His pass rush prowess from the interior is of a rare degree provided his weight doesn’t get out of control. If he can get on the field with the likes of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, Sutton has a great chance to see some sack opportunities.
Matt Forte is the main running back in Chicago. That has remained an undisputed fact for six years and is not about to change coming off his second Pro Bowl appearance. However, he may actually get some help this season. Chicago ensured that when they scooped up Pac-12 Player of the Year Ka’Deem Carey. While knocked by many for his lack of speed, many scouts agree his vision, toughness and versatility will make him an instant factor in the hands of a competent coach. Marc Trestman is one such man, who should be able to use Carey is a variety of ways while giving his prized star Forte added time to rest during games.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker himself said the safety competition is “wide open” for the Chicago Bears. That means he will not be above starting a rookie if the kid earns the spot. That is why many eyes are locked on 4th round pick Brock Vereen. The Bears traded up to get him during the draft, so clearly they have high expectations for him. So far, with veteran Chris Conte sidelined rehabbing his shoulder, Vereen has taken every meaningful snap with the first team in practice. Coaches laud his athleticism and intelligence. If he can catch up to the speed of the pro game, not only can he win the starting job but could also become a major help on a rebuilding defense.