Bears

Durkin’s Breakdown: QB David Fales

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David Fales. (Credit: Getty)

David Fales. (Credit: Getty)

photo Dan Durkin
Dan Durkin became CBSChicago.com's lead Bears reporter in August ...
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(CBS) —  The Chicago Bears selected quarterback David Fales in the sixth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft.

A San Jose State product, Fales (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) led the nation in completion percentage (72.5 percent) as a junior, finishing his career with 8,382 passing yards, a 68 percent completion percentage and a three-to-one touchdown (66) to interception (22) ratio.

Fales throws a tight, accurate ball, relying on his command of the offense, timing and anticipation to deliver on immediate routes. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, and his deep ball tends to hang up in the air, but he’s been effective both from the pocket and the perimeter when he breaks contain.

His path to the NFL was long and winding. He started out at the University of Nevada (Reno) — Colin Kaepernick’s alma mater — then transferred to Monterrey Peninsula College before landing at San Jose State in 2012 for his junior season. It was his performance that season that put him on the radar screens of the NFL, leading the Spartans to an 11-2 record and a 29-20 victory over Bowling Green in the Military Bowl, earning game MVP honors.

Late last season, Fales outdueled fellow 2014 draftee David Carr (a new Oakland Raider by way of Fresno State), throwing for 543 yards and six touchdowns in a 62-52 shootout.

Fales was invited to the Senior Bowl, landing on the South team along with Carr and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Carr and Garoppolo distanced themselves from Fales during the week, but he performed well in the game, ending 6-for-7 with 107 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

As demonstrated by Josh McCown last season, anticipation and accuracy on short and intermediate throws goes a long way within Marc Trestman’s timing-based passing attack. Knowing how receivers adjust to coverage and anticipating where and when they’ll come out of their breaks is critical, so Fales has an opportunity to grow within the system and become a potential trusted backup to incumbent Jay Cutler.

With their second pick in the sixth round (No. 191 overall), the Bears selected Miami (Fla.) punter Pat O’Donnell.

The Bears’ final selection is in the seventh round at No. 246 overall.

Follow Dan on Twitter: @djdurkin.

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