Hub Arkush: Bears touch all the right bases

The Bears picked Minnesota safety Brock Vereen in the fourth round of the draft Saturday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Those of us who’ve been doing this for a while tend to spend hours at the end of each draft figuring out new ways to cop out on putting a grade or an opinion to just how well a team did with its picks.

And we should.

But analyzing a draft without giving the players selected at least two years to show what kind of players they are makes no sense.

There’s something that Bears general manager Phil Emery said toward the end of Night Two of this draft that struck a chord with me: “Every player in the draft needs to get better at something.”

You all want to know just how good these kids the Bears drafted are.

What really matters is: How good can they be, and how many of them will reach their full potential?

I think I can give you an idea of how good most of the Bears' picks can be, but we’ll have to check back in a couple of years to see how good they each become.

Kyle Fuller has the ability to be a No. 1 cover corner in the NFL, and the more man-to-man coverage he’s allowed to play, the better he’ll be. Fuller’s strength is he attacks a lot better than he reacts, so you don’t want to ask him to sit back and read and react.

He is also physical enough to be outstanding forcing the run, and even though the Bears are saying no right now, he could have some success at safety if they change their minds.

Honestly, I liked C.J. Mosley better at 14, but that’s because of how much I like Mosley and in no way a criticism of Fuller. Both players belonged in the top 10 to 15 picks.

Ego Ferguson was reasonable value where the Bears took him in the second round, and I think Will Sutton will prove to be a steal in the third round.

The truth is I just don’t have as much information on Ferguson, but the scouts I respect tell me he has the potential to justify the pick.

Sutton I targeted months ago as somebody I really hoped the Bears would get – specifically for the three-technique – and I think he’ll remind you more of Tommie Harris in his prime than Henry Melton.

Running back Ka'Deem Carey troubles me. In spite of his great production in college, this pick resembles the Evan Rodriguez fourth-round pick, but he’s actually not the athlete Rodriguez was, and that’s out of character for Emery. The 4.7 40-yard dash at the Combine is the reality, not a fluke.

What I like about safety Brock Vereen is that Emery identified the need and the opportunity to trade up and get him, and moved aggressively to come back into the fourth round without overpaying. He’s not special, but he’s more than capable of fitting with and beating out the other safeties the Bears have now. It’s easy to envision him becoming a starter.

David Fales is strictly a developmental project at quarterback, and it’s hard to get excited about him after Emery told us two weeks ago those picks almost never work out. Minimally, he might consider changing his last name.

I am comfortable in predicting that Patrick O’Donnell will be the Bears' punter into the next decade – great value for a sixth-round pick.

All I can tell you about offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. is I talked to two teams who said they considered him in the fifth and sixth rounds before addressing other needs, and the Bears got him in the seventh. And I'm fairly sure he's not related to Jay.

I suspect this draft has left some of you a bit flat because it lacks the home run hitters you can really only find at the offensive skill positions or with a big-time pass rusher.

But those spots are already filled on the Bears, and this draft for Emery was about looking for stars in the supporting roles.

He’s found some interesting and capable players to audition.

• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and ChicagoFootball.com. Write to him at harkush@chicagofootball.com

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