Bears have no plans to move Kyle Fuller to safety

Bears have no plans to move Kyle Fuller to safety
May 8, 2014, 10:30 pm
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"Kyle is our...cornerback."

Bears GM Phil Emery didn't come out and give us a Lovie Smith Flashback, though he did give us a "Jay is our Quarterback," in protecting Jay Cutler's status when asked about the possibility of drafting Johnny Manziel as he kept slipping down the draft board during Emery's post-pick press conference.

[RELATED: NFL Draft -- Bears nab Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller in first-round]

But the most emphatic statement Emery made about the future of his third first-round pick is there are no plans to switch him to safety after bypassing both Calvin Pryor (who wound up going to the New York Jets at No. 18) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (whom the Green Bay Packers filled a safety need with at No. 21).

It sets up another interesting dynamic with their arch-rivals as Clinton-Dix joins Julius Peppers in the "Spurned by the Bears Club" up north. It'll be another sidebar in how the careers of Fuller and Clinton-Dix plays out over the next decade. But if anything, Emery was confident in the man he got, and why wouldn't he be?

[MORE: Kyle Fuller -- Chicago Bears' NFL Draft Profile]

While the Packers may get a starter from day one, Fuller may not supplant Charles Tillman or Tim Jennings if they're healthy, but he'll get more than his share of playing time in nickel against multiple-receiver sets, jumping over Kelvin Hayden and Isaiah Frey on that depth chart. He'll also be a willing and effective special teams contributor.

Fuller jumped out at Emery from the first time he saw him play in person, and nothing's dragged down his opinions in everything he's seen since, especially watching Fuller drag down opponents in huge numbers in 3.5 years as a starter. As the long wait to this draft approached, we started hearing more and more about Fuller climbing the cornerback ranks. In the end, only Justin Gilbert was selected higher. The next, Darqueze Dennard, went ten picks after Fuller. There were needs, to varying degrees, at every position on the defensive side for the Bears despite all the work Emery did in free agency. Cornerback was first. It'll be interesting to see what (and with whom) comes next.