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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Around The Draft, Day 53, Kyle Fuller

There are 52 days to the draft (I'm essentially caught up today), and I'm looking at usable prospects between the late first and late third rounds of the draft. 

Kyle Fuller (6’0, 190, Virginia Tech) is a good athlete but better football player.  He’s been at linebacker, safety, and has moved inside and out at corner.  He plays well at both man and zone, and plays the run and blitzes well.  He’s also not disciplined in how he tackles, but that’s fixable. 
The knock is that he’s not an elite athlete (but he ran a 4.49 – unofficially a 4.40 before adjustment), but has a quick backpedal and has a good transition from backpedal to opening his hips and flipping to run downfield. 

Fuller has also excelled with good anticipation, instinct and route recognition.  He does his film study eagerly and seems to do what’s required to win.   Because of that, some analysts state he freelances too much (honestly, I don’t know what the call is when I’m watching a single prospect).  

Fuller pulled out of the Senior Bowl, which didn’t help his stock, but would’ve been a place where I believe he’d have made up some space on the higher prospects in round one.   Being a Senior and a three time all-ACC guy certainly doesn’t hurt (again, last year Dave Gettleman only picked seniors, though I doubt that’s a hard rule).

Rated around 25 in most places, Fuller fits this defense exceptionally well and reminds me a lot of what Chris Gamble brought to the team in coverage, but with better run support.   Fuller fits what Ron Rivera likes in a corner – a long, physical player who attacks against the run.  He’s not the strongest guy out there, and he could fill out his 190 lb frame, but he plays big.  That’s the thing that I believe ties Fuller to the team.   I believe that the team will have bigger needs, but would be very excited to see him as a part of the team.  
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