Occasionally in the NFL, first round draft picks take their sweet time in agreeing to contracts with the team that selected them. In the case of CB Kyle Fuller and the Chicago Bears, neither side wasted any time as they agreed to a four-year contract, with an option for a fifth year tacked onto the end.
Fuller, the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft, starred as both a cornerback and a nickel corner for the Virginia Tech Hokies during his college career. He started 42 games with the Hokies, racking up 173 tackles and six interceptions in his career. He was named a second-team All-American in the 2013 campaign, and he was also named to the first-team All-ACC team for his performance.
The cornerback is the seventh Bears’ draft pick to agree to terms with the team, with only defensive tackle Will Sutton left to be signed.
The Bears’ secondary was in desperate need of an overhaul after a terrible season last year, as they were racked with injuries and general ineffectiveness. Charles Tillman missed a huge chunk of the season with a triceps injury, and even though Tim Jennings made the Pro Bowl, the team still had some issues to address. Zack Bowman, who filled in for Tillman while he was injured, has moved on to greener pastures, and with an injury-prone corner and another under-sized guy, the Bears needed a serious upgrade at the position.
Fuller will be expected to pitch in immediately when the season begins. The youngster will likely be asked to play snaps at nickel cornerback with the Bears as they contend with teams like the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, who run tons of three and four receiver sets in their offenses. He could also fill in as a starter if the need arises, and with Tillman’s recent health woes, there is a strong possibility that he could get even more playing time.
Fuller will be among the players heading to the Chicago-area this weekend as the Bears begin their rookie mini-camp on Friday morning at Halas Hall.