2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Will Fuller

  • Will Fuller, 6-0/186

  • Wide Receiver

  • Notre Dame

  • Will Fuller Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Extremely fast; elite speed
  • Deep-threat receiver
  • First-step quickness
  • Explosive
  • Superb at getting separation
  • Second-gear speed
  • Sudden
  • Adjusts well to the ball
  • Fast in and out of breaks
  • Potential to be an excellent route-runner
  • Above-average run-after-the-catch skills
  • Excellent balance
  • Tremendous vision
  • Quick feet
  • Big-play threat
  • Threat to score on any touch
  • Stretches a defense vertically
  • Quick release off of the line
  • Experienced and successful against good college programs
  • Makes big plays in the clutch
  • Durability
  • Good character
  • Strong off the field
  • Ready to contribute immediately

  • Weaknesses:
  • Unreliable hands
  • Jumps for receptions more than is necessary
  • Too inclined to body catch
  • Thin frame; needs more weight
  • More straight-line
  • Not incredibly elusive or dynamic with runs after the catch

  • Summary: NFL fans have gotten to know some vernacular of how scouts describe their analysis of a player. When you talk about Fuller with scouts, they will say he’s got some serious ‘gas,’ which means he is a speed receiver who is extremely fast. That is Fuller’s game as he is a home-run hitter who is a vertical deep threat to stretch a defense down the field. He is a could break for a score any time he catches the ball.

    Fuller broke out in 2014 with 76 receptions for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a junior, he was even better as he averaged 20.3 yards per catch with a ton of clutch plays for Notre Dame. Fuller totaled had 62 catches for 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year despite playing with an inexperienced quarterback. While Fuller produced a lot of points for the Fighting Irish, he did have some dropped passes and did too much body catching.

    At the combine, Fuller was clearly the most explosive wide receiver. He had an ultra-fast 40-yard dash time of 4.35 seconds. The biggest knock on Fuller is dropped passes, but in the field drills, he did well at catching the ball and didn’t have a single drop. Multiple teams said that Fuller interviewed well in Indianapolis. He has good marks on character, and he knew his position well from a scheme perspective. Teams believe that Fuller will be able to learn the routes to line up inside or outside in the NFL.

    There is a lot to like about Fuller for the next level. He is extremely fast to get separation on defensive backs over the top and stretching the field vertically. Fuller is a home-run hitter who has a second gear to run by defensive backs and get open deep down the field. He could stand to improve his hands, and teams feel that he is rather thin. They would like him to add some weight to his frame since they feel he is a bit skinny.

    Scouts say that Fuller is more straight-line with above-average run-after-the-catch skills and elusiveness, but he is not dynamic in those areas like a DeSean Jackson or a Joey Galloway. They say that Fuller can stretch the field and is extremely fast with the ability to go the distance if he gets a crease.

    For the NFL, Fuller would be best as a No. 2 receiver to stretch the field vertically and produce some big plays deep down the field while defenses are focused on stopping a true No. 1 wideout. Quickly in his NFL career, Fuller could be a dangerous home-run hitter who produces a lot of points deep down the field. He looks likely to be a pick in the back half of the first round during the 2016 NFL Draft.

    Player Comparison: Tedd Ginn. Team sources compared Fuller to Ginn. However, they think that Fuller could be a better, or rich man’s version of Ginn.

    NFL Matches: Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Carolina, Cleveland and Baltimore

    There a lot of teams in the market for an upgrade at wide receiver. Atlanta has to find a replacement for Roddy White, and Fuller would give the Falcons a vertical receiver across from Julio Jones.

    Houston needs more explosiveness for its offense, and Fuller could be a perfect weapon to pair with DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller is in play for the Texans at pick No. 22. Minnesota also could use more receiving threats to help Teddy Bridgewater, plus Mike Wallace may not be a long-term player with the organization. Fuller and Stefon Diggs would give the Vikings two speed receivers.

    Kansas City could use more weapons to go with Jeremy Maclin. The Bengals could lose Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency, so Cincinnati could target Fuller as a potential replacement for one of them in the first round.

    Carolina needs more receiving talent for Cam Newton, and Fuller could give the Panthers a speed receiver to go with the big wideouts they’ve drafted the previous two years.

    At the top of the second round, the Browns are desperate for play-makers, and Fuller could be a great addition for Hue Jackson – if Fuller makes it down to Round 2. In Baltimore, Fuller would be a natural replacement for Steve Smith.


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