Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (HT: 5’11¾”; WT: 190 lbs)
First Round: 14th Pick
NFL Comparison: Prince Amukamara, CB, New York Giants
|5116||190||32 3/4"||9 1/4"|
|40-yard dash||10-yd split||Vert||Broad||3-Cone||Shuttle|
+ Possesses average height, but ranked in the 92nd percentile for arm length
+ Very good athlete who can overcome mistakes
+ Excellent route recognition and reaction speed
+ Aggressive mindset against both the pass and run
+ Fluid athlete who wastes little to no movement
+ Able to line up all over the field, including cornerback and safety
+ Not limited to a specific scheme due to physical profile and awareness
- Durability concerns due to physical nature
- Hand technique needs improvement for press coverage
- Still learning and becoming comfortable in zone coverages
- Tends to be overaggressive at times; vulnerable to double moves
Fuller has all of the physical tools to become a high-caliber cornerback in the NFL. With his long arms and room to add muscle to his frame, he can fit any defensive system. He has great quickness and fluid hips, allowing him to break in and out of routes with the receiver. His vertical leaping ability is above average, allowing him to compete for 50-50 balls.
With no documented arrests, suspensions or other off-the-field issues, Fuller appears to be a valuable team member. Named defensive team captain in 2013 on a defense with other productive players, Fuller can upgrade the locker room.
At Virginia Tech, Fuller lined up all over the field, including cornerback, safety and linebacker at times. He primarily played catch-man coverage, where he was most effective. He didn’t spend a significant amount of time in press-man or zone coverage.
Fuller is greatly improved as a senior at locating the ball in coverage. He keeps his head up and his eyes on the quarterback without losing his receiver. His length and closing burst force difficult catches near the sideline. Hands are a concern after he dropped multiple interceptions throughout 2012 and 2013, but getting into position is most of the battle.
Against the Run/Tackling
Fuller demonstrates impressive determination to make an impact tackle behind or near the line of scrimmage. He takes good angles that limit the amount of yards that the ball-carrier obtains. He tends to use his entire body when delivering hits, leaving him vulnerable to injuries. To stay effective and healthy, he needs to tackle with better form.
With his physical profile, Fuller is able to overcome mistakes made early in the play and contest passes, but he rarely is out of position. He mirrors the receiver very well throughout the route by staying balanced and having great fluidity. Fuller excels in man coverage because of his reactionary speed and the way he uses his length. Even if he doesn’t develop other parts of his game, Fuller projects as a solid cover cornerback in catch-man coverage.
Fuller is too strict to his assigned zone at times, not noticing nearby receivers. Since Fuller doesn’t have awareness issues elsewhere, he likely needs more exposure to build comfort and confidence in zone. His physical profile and mentality suggest he can become an effective zone player in both Cover 2 and Cover 3, but it might take some time to become consistent.
Fuller has a clean backpedal, good balance and quick feet, allowing him to stay bouncy and on the hip of receivers and jump routes. His hand use at the line of scrimmage needs to improve if he will be playing press coverage, as he does not possess a strong punch. Even when he doesn't locate the ball downfield, Fuller reacts to the receiver moving their arms up to make a play for the ball. Entering the NFL, Fuller is a good technician with room to improve.
Future Role/Scheme Versatility
Kyle Fuller projects as an outside cornerback with the ability to play safety or slot corner on occasion. With his size, speed and recognition abilities, Fuller has a very high potential and could become a shutdown cornerback. As a rookie, he should play off-man coverage often because he excels there now and can continue to improve as a young professional.