2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kyle Fuller

  • Versatile can play outside or in the slot, or even safety
  • Instinctive
  • Good press-man corner
  • Can run with speed receivers downfield
  • Can play off-man coverage
  • Excellent zone corner
  • Capable of matching up against No. 1 receivers
  • Ball skills
  • Has some length
  • Comfortable with ball in the air
  • Fast backpedal
  • Straight-line speed
  • Experienced and successful against good college receivers
  • Good tackler
  • Gritty defender
  • Plays with a swagger
  • Confident, has the man-corner mentality
  • Ready to play
  • Special teams play-maker
  • Willing run-defender
  • Physical defender
  • Athletic
  • Flexible to play in man or zone scheme
  • Bloodlines: two brothers in the NFL
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Has some stiffness
  • Durability

  • Summary: Virginia Tech has been a factory for NFL defensive backs; a trend that two more Fuller brothers will keep going. Kyle Fuller should be a first- or second-round pick this year, while younger brother Kendall Fuller could be the best of four brothers to enter the NFL, but he isn’t a prospect until 2016 at the earliest. Kyle Fuller didn’t play a complete 2013 season, but when the senior did play, he was so impressive that he vaulted himself into the conversation for the first round.

    As a freshman in 2010, Fuller made six starts to total 32 tackles and six passes broken up. He improved his play in 2011 and started every game. The sophomore racked up 65 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble, and seven passes broken up. He was a Second-Team All-ACC selection. In his junior season, Fuller played well with 46 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and three passes broken up.

    Fuller saved his best for his last year. He was extremely impressive against Alabama in the 2013 season opener. Fuller did a superb job of smothering star receiver Amari Cooper in man coverage. Fuller had four tackles, an interception, at least one pass batted away, some good hits and solid play on special teams against the Crimson Tide.

    Fuller kept up the impressive play in games versus Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He had tight coverage and was superb in run defense. Tar Heels receiver Quinshad Davis beat Fuller for a touchdown on a double move, but Fuller had a pick and six tackles in the game. Whil taking on the the Yellow Jackets, Fuller was all over the place blowing up their option run game, including lining up over the center at the line of scrimmage. Injuries hurt him down the stretch and he missed a few games. The senior totaled 24 tackles with two interceptions and 10 passes broken up in 2013 despite losing lots of playing time to injuries.

    For the NFL, Fuller should be able to compete quickly. He has the size to line up on the outside and battle big receivers. Fuller is also a gritty, physical corner who can line up in press-man coverage and run with receivers downfield. Additionally, he is a good corner to line up in off-man coverage and pick up wide outs downfield. Fuller is superb in zone due to very good instincts. Adding to his versatility is the ability to play safety and star special teams coverage units.

    Fuller is a quality run-defender who isn’t afraid of fighting in the tackle box either. He could start his career as a slot corner before eventually taking over a starting role on the outside.

    Fuller has some ball skills, but it would be nice if he produced some more interceptions. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that one thing hurting Fuller from being a high first-round pick is some tightness. That could be problematic against NFL speed receivers.

    Still, Fuller looks like a player capable of making an immediate contribution on defense and special teams. In time, he could develop into a good starting cornerback with No. 1 corner potential. His ceiling is the middle of the first round, while his floor would be as an early second-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Brandon Flowers. Fuller’s style of play is similar to Flowers, another former Hokie. Fuller is a bigger version of Flowers (5-9, 187). Both are gritty cover corners who can isolate in man coverage on receivers. They also are versatile in that their respective skill sets can be used in a variety of ways. Flowers was an early second-round pick by the Chiefs in 2008, and that turned out to be a great selection by Kansas City. Fuller could be an NFL cornerback comparable to Flowers.

    NFL Matches: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Diego, Cleveland, Carolina, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Washington, Jacksonville

    There are a lot of teams that are going to target a cornerback late in the first round or early in the second round. Fuller’s cover skills could cause a team in the back half of the first round to select him. Perhaps the highest he could hope to go would be to the Steelers in the middle of the first round, but that seems like a reach.

    The first team that could really be a good fit for Fuller is Cincinnati. The Bengals need cornerback help with Leon Hall coming off another serious injury. They also have aging veterans in Adam Jones and Terrance Newman. Fuller has the potential to form a nice tandem with Dre Kirkpatrick.

    The Chargers have a massive need at cornerback, and Fuller should definitely be in play for San Diego. The team need fast, athletic cornerbacks to go against Denver, and Fuller could provide the Chargers with a quick upgrade. San Diego re-signed Richard Marshall, but the franchise needs corner help badly.

    The Browns could use another corner to pair with Joe Haden. If they have Fuller as the best player available, he could make sense for Cleveland with pick No. 26.

    Carolina badly needs help at cornerback. The team still have to find a replacement for Chris Gamble. However, the Panthers will probably draft a wide receiver or offensive lineman in the first round.

    The 49ers and the Broncos could use some talented youth at corner. Fuller would be a great fit in San Francisco as the long-term replacement for Carlos Rogers. The 49ers’ biggest need could be corner, so they could easily Fuller. Denver managed to sign Aqib Talib, but could use a complement on the other side from him.

    At the top of the second round, the Texans need a nickelback after cutting Bryce McCain. They could develop Fuller as the nickel and have him eventually replace Jonathan Joseph or Kareem Jackson as a starter.

    Still early in the second round, Fuller could land with Washington or Jacksonville. Both could use help at corner, especially the Jaguars. Fuller has enough size to fit Jacksonville’s defense.


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