Chicago Bears 2014 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
After months of waiting, the 2014 NFL draft is finally here!
Beginning this Thursday with the first round and going straight through the seventh round on Saturday, we here at Bleacher Report will be keeping you up to date on each of the Chicago Bears' 2014 draft picks.
After improving the team this offseason with the additions of defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, general manager Phil Emery still has plenty of work to do in the 2014 draft.
Despite those additions along the defensive line, there is still a need for a young defensive tackle who can create pressure and play well against the run. There is also a glaring need in the secondary, particularly at the safety position.
Luckily for Emery and the Bears, the 2014 draft is filled with talent at defensive tackle, safety and cornerback and it would come as no surprise if any of those three positions are addressed in the first round.
As each of the team's picks are announced, be sure to check back here as I will provide real-time results as well as analysis and grades for each new member of the Chicago Bears.
1st Round, 14th Overall: Kyle Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
After weeks of speculation about who the Chicago Bears were going to select in the first round, it became official when the team selected cornerback Kyle Fuller with the 14th overall pick.
Despite a need at safety and Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor still on the board, Emery went with a slight stretch pick in 2014 after taking Shea McClellin and Kyle Long in the previous two drafts.
Some will question the decision because the team is already set for the near future with Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman at cornerback, but Fuller adds youth and versatility to a defensive backfield that desperately needs it.
Va Tech's Kyle Fuller fills a need for #Bears. Physical CB with 4.4 speed, coverage skills & the ability to play inside at Nickel.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) May 9, 2014
Despite measuring in at 5’11” and 189 pounds, via NFL.com, Fuller plays the game physically and fits Phil Emery’s desire to have a cornerback that can also play safety. In a press conference last week Emery said, “We’ve looked at every corner that has length as a possible safety.”
He plays physical despite his size, has great awareness and plays even faster than his 4.49 40-yard dash time would suggest.
The Bears can use Fuller in a variety of ways in 2014. He has the ability to play the free safety position or the nickelback spot and he could wind up being the eventual replacement for Tillman once his time in Chicago is up.
2nd Round, 51st Overall: Ego Ferguson, Defensive Tackle, LSU
After addressing the need for a cornerback in the first round by selecting Kyle Fuller, the Chicago Bears addressed a need at defensive tackle by selecting LSU's Ego Ferguson with the 51st overall pick.
Biggsy says it's LSU DT Ego Ferguson to the Bears. 6-3, 315 pounds, raw, had only 1 sack in college but good size-speed combo.— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) May 10, 2014
Ferguson is an extremely versatile player that has the ability to play stout against the run as a nose tackle or create pressure up the middle as a 3-technique.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller commented about Ferguson's versatility being his biggest strength, writing:
Ferguson's strength is in his versatility, which allows him to work in any scheme or defensive front a team may want to use. Whereas some players are limited to one type of scheme—and thus only some team's boards—Ferguson is an option for all 32 NFL teams. He'll have to learn to play more disciplined and controlled at the next level, but Ferguson has the quickness and strength to be an asset in his first year in the middle of an NFL defensive line.
The Bears did a nice job this offseason improving its defensive end position by signing Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, but the defensive tackle position lacked youth.
Ferguson immediately gives the position more depth and his versatility will allow the team to use him in a variety of different ways along the defensive line.
The Bears had options at No. 51 with Louis Nix III, Kony Ealy and Will Sutton still available, but Phil Emery has proven that when he likes a player he is not afraid to think outside of the box and go get him.
3rd Round, 82nd Overall: Will Sutton, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State
Phil Emery continued to improve his defensive line in the third round, snatching up Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton.
After taking a projected nose tackle in Ego Ferguson in the second round, Emery adds a true 3-technique tackle in Sutton. He was a force in 2012 when he played closer to 290 pounds, but he was asked to bulk up in 2013 and saw a drop in his play. Concerns over his weight likely caused him to drop down to the third round.
Will Sutton is a pure three-technique. He was way too heavy last season at Arizona State. Clearly he got back in shape in #Bears eyes.— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) May 10, 2014
NFL Network's Mike Mayock said of the Sutton selection, "Sutton, when effective, is a 303-pound three-technique. Bears fans know they need help on defense. First and foremost, they have to stop the run this year."
He is short and stout and uses his size to gain leverage against opposing offensive linemen. His snap anticipation, burst off of the line of scrimmage and strength are all reasons why Bears fans should be excited about his potential.
He is best-suited as a 3-technique at the next level because of his first step and anticipation, but he has shown he can also play effectively against the run.
While the Ferguson selection in the second round can be viewed as a reach pick, drafting Sutton in the third round may wind up being the steal of the 2014 draft for the Chicago Bears.
4th Round, 117th Overall: Ka'Deem Carey, Running Back, Arizona
After addressing the cornerback and defensive tackle positions with their first three picks, the Chicago Bears drafted running back Ka'Deem Carey with the 117th overall pick.
Despite having one of the better running backs in the NFL in Matt Forte, there was a real need at the position and Carey should have a good shot at becoming the team's No. 2 this offseason.
# Bears badly needed depth behind Matt Forte, and Ka'Deem Carey fits the bill. CBS scouting report compares him with Ahmad Bradshaw.— Tom Musick (@tcmusick) May 10, 2014
Carey has seen his stock drop a bit this offseason after running an unimpressive 4.70 40-yard dash in February's NFL Scouting Combine, but his game tape shows a punishing, instinctive runner who keeps his legs moving to pick up additional yardage.
Mentioned in the tweet above, CBSSports.com's Rob Rang compares him to Ahmad Bradshaw, writing:
Recurring injuries have robbed Bradshaw of a once-promising career and it is important to note that Carey did not miss a game due to injury at Arizona. Further, Carey possesses more lateral agility and "wow" potential than Bradshaw. However, it was the physicality and grit with which he ran in 2013 that have become trademark traits for the former Wildcat.
He displays terrific vision, is a slasher who utilizes his good footwork and has above average hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
He will not be expected to push Forte for at least a couple of seasons, but he gives the team much needed depth and has the upside to become a major contributor in this offense in the coming years.
Bears Trade 2014 and 2015 Fifth-Round Picks, Select Brock Vereen with 131st Pick
After not addressing the safety position with any of its first four picks, Phil Emery and the Chicago Bears moved back into the fourth round to select Minnesota safety Brock Vereen.
Bears acquire pick 131 and a 7th rounder (#246) in trade with Broncos. Broncos receive Bears 5th rounder in 2014 & 2015.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 10, 2014
Vereen gives the Bears much needed youth and depth at the safety position and he should have a chance to compete in 2014.
NFL.com's Nolan Nawrock wrote of him:
Intelligent, athletic, rangy free safety with desirable strength and cover skills to go along with football bloodlines. Needs to improve against the run but is instinctive and brings terrific intangibles that could propel him into a role as a starter and defensive leader.
It is no secret that the Bears needed help at the safety position. Vereen is likely not going to walk in and take the starting strong safety position immediately, but he will likely have the chance to compete with Ryan Mundy and Craig Steltz for the opportunity.
He will bring versatility to the secondary as he has made starts at cornerback and both safety positions during his time at Minnesota.
The Bears obviously saw something they liked in him and were more than willing to depart with two fifth-rounds picks to get him.
If nothing else, Vereen will help bring even more competition to a mediocre safety group.
6th Round, 183rd Overall: David Fales, Quarterback, San Jose State
Phil Emery and the Chicago Bears added depth to the quarterback position by selecting San Jose State's David Fales with the 183rd overall pick.
Fales measured in at 6'2" and 212 pounds at the NFL combine back in February and has prototypical NFL size for the quarterback position.
He has good feet, knows when to step up in the pocket and his decision-making abilities are all perfect fits for Marc Trestman's West Coast offense. Despite his good vision and awareness, he needs to work on his deep ball and his tendency to stare down his receivers.
QB David Fales is going to a great situation where he can sit and learn under Marc Trestman. We haven't heard the last of Fales #Bears— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) May 10, 2014
Fales will enter the 2014 season as the backup to Jay Cutler and Jordan Palmer. If Trestman can develop him quickly, he stands a good shot at being the team's No. 2 quarterback in 2015.
The Bears had a need for a young quarterback they could develop and Fales appears to be a perfect fit for Trestman and his coaching staff.
6th Round, 191st Overall: Pat O'Donnell, Punter, Miami
While it was a need for the team, Phil Emery surprised many by taking Miami punter Pat O'Donnell with the 191st pick.
The team released Adam Podlesh earlier this offseason, and they currently sit with unproven punters Tress Way and Drew Butler on their roster.
Regarding O'Donnell heading into this draft, Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com wrote:
Outstanding-sized, right-footed, two-step punter transferred from Cincinnati upon graduation to be closer to home and hone his own technique. Has the leg strength to compete for a job, but must continue to hone his control and improve his directional punting.
O'Donnell was impressive at the combine, posting impressive numbers in the 40-yard dash and the bench press.
Pat O'Donnell ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, tied for the fastest by a kicker or punter since at least 2006— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) May 10, 2014
#Bears second 6th-round pick, Miami P Pat O'Donnell did 23 reps of 225 on bench press at Combine.— Bob LeGere (@BobLeGere) May 10, 2014
While O'Donnell fills a need for the Bears at the punter position, he likely would have been available in the seventh round.
7th Round, 246th Overall: Charles Leno, Jr., Tackle, Boise State
Phil Emery and the Chicago Bears concluded the 2014 NFL draft with their selection of Boise State offensive tackle Charles Leno, Jr. with the 246th overall pick.
Like the Charles Leno pick by the Bears. He flashed at Boise State. Good backup, at worst.— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) May 10, 2014
Leno started all 13 games at right tackle in 2011 before moving to left tackle in 2012. He finished his career at Boise State by starting all 26 games between 2012 and 2013.
He has long arms and a solid base, but he struggles a bit as a pass blocker and looks more comfortable as a run blocker.
He has the ability to develop into a solid backup in Chicago if he can improve his technique and get stronger.
Charles Leno Jr. passed the 20 yard SS threshold for OL. Has projected future success well since 2006. I like him. #Bears— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) May 10, 2014
The Bears are not exceptionally deep along the offensive line and Leno may have a chance to earn himself a spot on the roster for 2014.
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