Cincinnati Bengals: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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player. 56. . S. (1986-92). David Fulcher. 15

  • 3x Pro Bowl (1988-90)
  • 1x First-Team All-Pro (1989)
  • 1x Second-Team All-Pro (1990)
  • 31 career interceptions, 8.5 quarterback sacks
  • Cincinnati Bengals 40th Anniversary Team

David Fulcher is probably one of the best pure talents to have ever starred for the Bengals. In college playing for the Arizona State Sun Devils, Fulcher was known for both his hard-hitting demeanor at safety, as well as his ability to pick off errant passes thrown by the quarterback.

Fulcher left school a year early and ended up being a third-round pick by the Bengals in the 1986 NFL Draft. No, it did not take long for Fulcher to emerge as one of the most complete players in an NFL secondary. His third season in the league was his breakout season, as Fulcher made his first of three consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl.

Cincinnati would make it all the way to Super Bowl XXIII in that terrific 1988 campaign, but ultimately fell short to the San Francisco 49ers down in Miami. Fulcher would build off that 1988 season with his best year to date in 1989. That fall saw Fulcher make the All-Pro first team with eight interceptions on the campaign.

Fulcher’s third straight Pro Bowl season in 1990 saw him make the All-Pro second team, as he hauled in another four interceptions. In all seven of his seasons with the Bengals, Fulcher never had fewer than three interceptions in a season. Outside of his last year with the Bengals in 1992, Fulcher never had fewer than four.

Overall, Fulcher would finish his seven-year Bengals career with 31 interceptions and 8.5 quarterback sacks. During the peak Sam Wyche years in Cincinnati, there probably was not a more dynamic playmaker on the Bengals defense than Fulcher. However, he wasn’t built to withstand the punishing style with which he played.

Fulcher would leave the Bengals after the 1992 NFL season to play for the 1993 Los Angeles Raiders. However, he was too broken down from all the heavy hits he doled at both Arizona State and Cincinnati. Fulcher retired after that season at the age of 29.

No, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Fulcher made it on to the Bengals’ 40th Anniversary Team in 2007, a full 15 years since he last played for Cincinnati. Though he doesn’t have the body of work to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, Fulcher is at the very least a legend in the Cincinnati secondary. If only he played longer…