Draft Daily: Why Fuller Makes Sense At No. 22

Kyle Fuller

NFL coaches love cliches.

One of the more common ones you’ll hear is: That guy’s just a football player.




It's coach speak for: He always knows what he's doing out there. He's willing to fill a variety of roles. That's someone I'll take on my team any day of the week.

When it comes to first-round prospects on the defensive side of the ball, perhaps no one fits that particular description better than Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller.

The 6-foot, 190-pounder is one of four brothers to play his college ball in Blacksburg, Va. And the Hokies used him in a variety of roles: outside corner, nickel, special teams. One of Chip Kelly's favorite words applies strongly to Fuller.

"I think he's a very versatile player," said Greg Cosell of NFL Films during a recent appearance on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast. "He can play in the slot as well, which maybe increases his value. He's not 'just' a slot guy but he can play in the slot.

"I think he can play press, I think he can play off, I think he can play man, and I think he can play zone. He can do a lot of different things depending on what you want to do defensively."

His college defensive backs coach Torrian Gray would seem to agree.

"Kyle’s a smart, cerebral player," Gray said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He’s a tackling corner. He’s a gym rat. He’s going to study, he does a lot of extra things. He prepares like a pro.

"He’s tough. A physical corner. He’s not just out there trying to cover guys. He’ll mix it up. Versatile, if I had to describe him in one word. ...Kyle’s versatile enough to where he can play anywhere back there."

NFL Network's Mike Mayock recently rated Fuller as his top corner in the draft. Here's how he stacks up from a measurables standpoint:

In addition to the above-average height, Fuller has long arms (32 7/8 inches). The graph shows him running a 4.40. That was his unofficial time. It was actually a 4.49.

But there's a lot to like about Fuller. Most notably, he does a tremendous job of getting his hands on the football. According to Rotoworld, he broke up or intercepted one out of every three passes thrown his way. That ranked second in the class to only TCU's Jason Verrett.

Here's an example against Alabama. Fuller lines up in press coverage, sticks with the receiver and breaks up the pass:

Here's another one. Fuller is in man coverage on the outside, plays the fade and gets his arm up at the perfect time to break up the pass:

This is an art in the NFL. Billy Davis teaches his players to watch the eyes of the receiver when face-guarding. The key is to get their arm in between the pass-catcher's hands. If corners look back at the wrong time, they get burned. If they play it too aggressively, they get flagged.

Fuller seems to already have this skill down.

And then there's the versatility. Here, Fuller lines up in the slot against Alabama:

I love how he avoids the possibility of pass interference but still does a great job making a play on the ball.

I'm really intrigued by Fuller as a player who can match up with tight ends. He has the size and leaping ability. And unlike some other corners his size, Fuller seems to have no trouble at all moving inside. Here he is against a tight end in the North Carolina game:

Against the run, Fuller is more than willing to mix it up. He's a physical player. There is nothing soft at all about Fuller's game:

And just because I know this crowd enjoys a good hit:

Fuller initially gets beat on special teams, but finishes the play by leveling the Alabama player.

In case you can't tell, I think Fuller makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. From a size/length perspective, he fits their measurables. And from a versatility standpoint, there doesn't seem to be another corner in this class who possesses his skill set. Fuller would have a great shot at starting right away on the outside. But he could also spend time against tight ends and would provide insurance for Brandon Boykin on the inside.

Take this with a grain of salt, but the Eagles have shown some level of interest:

Fuller could be off the board at No. 22, but because his 40 time wasn't off the charts, there's a chance he slips. Scheme is a factor too. Teams looking for purely press corners might not value Fuller as much as the Eagles probably do.

If I had to come up with a list of the five most likeliest players the Eagles might end up with at No. 22, Fuller would be on the list.

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  • B.B.

    Fuller would be a sold selection. I like Dennard as well. I think they should go defense with their first pick. But I won’t complain if they grab Cooks.

    • addicted2mula

      No cooks please

      • dnabrice

        What’s your reason?

      • addicted2mula

        Nothing wrong with him but if Lee or Evans is still there ill rather get one of them

        • Richard Colton

          if Evans is still there? At #22?

        • Eagles1018

          Evans will be gone. Why Lee over Cooks? I like Cooks and ODB better than Lee. Lee doesn’t jump off the page like those two. Still would prefer CJ Mosley here if he’s available. Or BPA defense. Cooks and ODB would be secondary choices at 22 if one of their higher rated defense guys isn’t there.

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            CJ Mosley is my top pick here if available highly doubt he’ll escape the Dolphins if not Fuller or Deone B.

          • Richard Colton

            hard to see the ‘Fins not going O-line. They left themselves a huge hole to fill in the draft.

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            OL can be picked up at any point in this draft if they are smart. They have always been a defensive minded team. I don’t see them letting a smart, instinctive and athletic ILB pass them by. Only way they draft OL is if they plan on getting a QB

          • Richard Colton

            ohh anywhere? its that easy? they’re short multiple starting/backup linemen. There isn’t a single plug-and-play lineman in this draft after round two. Think they want Ryan running for his life again?

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            Multiple talent scouts have already said the draft is deep at two positions other than WR, being OL and CB. Now there may not be a multitude of top tier talent but teams can and will draft “players” The dolphins will acquire what they need in exchange for good value at that spot. You seem to have forgotten the Eagles had that issue and still currently lack depth but you don’t see them drafting a lineman first every year. No one said it was easy but that’s what they get paid for. Right? RIGHT! Not to mention there are many other ways to obtain players of starting quality besides the draft : Hence UDFA other teams practice squads.

          • Richard Colton

            2009 – 1st Round pick O-line
            2011 – 1st Round pick O-line
            2014 – 1st Round Pick O-line

            Your answer is puerile. The scouts get paid to find diamonds in the rough? You take a guy in the 5th round, you hope he becomes a player. You think there are developmental guys to be had in later rounds? Obviously. If you think there is a 4th round guy who can start year one on the O-line, name him. I don’t see one.

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            First, get this right you aren’t a scout. That is why you can’t see one that has the ability to start. Second, these kids get drafted because they can play. It’s as easy as that it takes a truly good coach/ front office / talent development team to pull the best out of some of these players. Clearly as I said above. “Players” will be drafted I don’t see an organizations complaining about not seeing talent in the draft, because it is their job to find it. Point blank. Do the work look up the OT/G that were invited to the draft. Tell me none are ready to start day one that have a late round grade.

          • Maggie

            O linemen can be picked up anywhere? Then why all the hate when some lineman doesn’t work out? Or the O line is average and the QB spends half the game running for his life?

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            I said OL can be addressed at any time because there are plenty linemen drafted in later rounds every year that take jobs from starters. It’s based on multiple things: scheme fit, size, athleticism & intelligence. If they cannot find the right fits as some teams struggle with due to lack of scouting or information that is that organizations problem. There are 7-8 starting linemen taken from 2013 draft that started 10 or more games there are actually more but I’m just talking about personal knowledge.

          • peteike

            I like Lee and Arob as my top two but whatever that means, I like Lees toughness getting the ball I think it translates to next level better. ARob is just a stab for a big WR. Of course Im not including the top two guys which Eagles dont have a chance at getting. It will prob be some mid round guy that turns out to be the next TO/BMarshall. Talk to me in 2 years and we can revisit ha.

    • IG:blkboyflyy

      Dennard doesn’t have the skills to ride the receivers inside hip without drawing pass interference. I hope we avoid him at all cost we don’t need more penalties.

      • George

        besides, he has short arms and has REALLY stiff hips

    • Sean

      Cooks has been getting so hyped lately I wouldnt be surprised if he didn’t make it to us… If he IS there, you gotta grab him, IMO

  • addicted2mula

    Off topic who are the best pass rushers out the draft?

    • mtn_green

      Eagles are 3-4, so best OLB prospects are Mack and Barr, ten attachou, smith, van noy, Murphy. There are articles all over the place cause it’s such a big need for eagle.

      http://the700level.com/football-eagles/eagles-2014-draft-preview-potential-linebacker-targets-for-all-6-picks

      • Eagles1018

        I actually did some checking on measurables and did some you tube research of Adrian Hubbard. He’s tall and has a good build for OLB. He played DE in Alabamas scheme but he’s listed as OLB for the draft. I could see him being a hybrid kinda guy with the 3rd down sub packages. He also has experience in coverage. Thanks to b247 guys like Colton, Tom W and Geags I started compiling my own list of guys I like. Have video (where I could find it) and write ups showing strengths a d weaknesses. Here you go:

        Adrian Hubbard – OLB

        http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737472/adrian-hubbard

        • Eagles1018

          I will say my hangs up about Hubbard from watching his video: he does not consistently set the edge in run support. But this like all things should be coachable. Second, he doesn’t consistently wrap up ball carriers in space. I’m not worried about that because again this is coachable. Especially with the focus on fundamental tackling from the Eagles training staff. But his size speed combo (6’6″ 4.66 40 yd dash) and the fact he’s projected 4th round means we’d have time to focus on other needs and wait for him on day 3.

          • DoctorRick

            Very nice breakdown and assessment. We could do a lot worse at OLB than Hubbard.

          • cliff henny

            man, I hate this guy. specifically watched ‘Bama games (least 5 or 6) just for him, cause as you pointed out certainly has physicals eagles target. I wanted him to be something, do something anything, but this guy did nothing ever in any games. warm body on defense. this guy does nothing well, and barely seems like he’s even trying. all they’d be drafting is his physicals. and if saban couldn’t get him to look good, not sure Eagles have magic elixir. my hate might/probably is over the top since forced myself to watch hated tide for him.

          • JofreyRice

            Hubbard blows. No passion.

      • George

        for eagle?? you’re sounding like emitt smith

  • Richard Colton

    W’ont get me standing up cheering on draft night, and with three starting corners, he might not be a week one starter.

    If the Eagles think he can be a disruptive playmaker down the road, I’m 100% OK with the pick. That’s what we need more than anything.

    • guest

      Fuller is already better than Fletcher.

      • Richard Colton

        he had his ups and downs. I wasn’t ready to kill Fletcher at the end of the season, he’s an OK starter with the measureables Chip likes. If Fletch was a complete disaster, you have to think they would have moved Boykin over, even if they prefer to play him in the slot.

        At any rate, if he’s the pick, I expect he’ll start at some point. Probably not week one.

        • southy

          Fletcher had some lights out games. I’m ok riding with him.

          Fuller’s not really a need play, but he is dirrrrty. If Fletch stays healthy it’d be Fuller replacing Cary “let him catch it then tackle him and insult his momma” Williams.

    • Scott J

      By the end of the season Fuller would be starting instead of Fletcher.

    • Bracey

      And just added Carrol, who played great as a #2 last year. There’s a chance that we draft a guy to be our 5th corner

  • George

    dont know if this is just me, but the draft breakdown videos are only set to play one clip for all of them. do you know if this could be fixed, shiel? Thanks.

    • Sean

      same here..

      thanks for your hard work SK!

      • mtn_green

        Same

        • Jarrod

          Same

    • Adam

      Hahaha I thought I was going crazy and scrolling up instead of back down. Glad I’m not the only one.

  • JosephR2225

    “He’s just a football player.” At this point, I’ll take that over any cliche involving “high motor” or “fastball”.

  • NickS1

    Oh look, prosecutors won’t pursue jail time for Ray Rice. Called that.

  • cliff henny

    oh boy, Howie’s talking to media. sure we’ll get a big fat nothing, with sprinkles of frustration from PC.

  • Dominik

    Whenever someones writes: hey, we could pick a CB with #22, my reaction is:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2487777030/unimpressed.PNG

  • BuddyBall

    Oh good, Curtis Marsh is a top five comp.

  • Scott J

    With all of these quality wide receivers entering the league, the cornerback and safety positions will be more important than ever.

    • knighn

      Cover ‘em if you can. Outscore ‘em if you can’t.

    • IG:blkboyflyy

      Finally someone else see the value of corners rising(like I do) with these WR prospects coming out.

  • knighn

    If I had to come up with a list of the five most likeliest players the Eagles might end up with at No. 22, Fuller would be on the list.
    It’s a week before the draft, Sheil! Are you going to give us the other 4?!

    • Maggie

      As long as the other four are linebackers. Maybe three, with one wideout. My goodness, I just realized! Since entering this site, I’ve forgotten how to use verbs!

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Go play around with twitter. You’ll need to become well versed in making your point as directly as possible.

      • knighn

        Problem: there isn’t likely to be 4 LBs worth taking at #22 overall. There may not even be one.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          One of my reasons for my “swing for the fences” scenario. We take two big hacks trying for Barr and then if he’s off the board too early and we don’t like or see better value for WR in 2nd, we bunt, trade back and hope the next guy can bring us home in early 2nd for our OLB needs.

        • Clamdigger

          Mosley, Barr?

          • knighn

            At most: only one of those guys is going to be available at 22. I’d be shocked with a capital SHOCK if both are there.

      • PaoliBulldog

        So true! But understandable anyway. Mock draft?

  • cliff henny

    Howie’s PC wasn’t anything surprising. only new/interesting thing I read on twitter was he specifically mentioned Travis Long’s development as rush-backer. still need to draft one, but if that’s the case, Graham’s available for about anything now

    • Tom W

      Graham and Bryce I bet ….. Both gone for 6ths

  • JofreyRice

    I’d be great with this pick. My only concern would be that Cary would start opposite of Fuller, instead of Fletcher, because he’s paid more.

    They make this pick, Cary should become depth.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Not necessarily. I think Chip would keep the competition open and not based on paychecks.

      • JofreyRice

        I hope so.

  • ztom6

    Would like getting Fuller at 22. Would be interesting to see where he’d fit in in year 1. He seems like he could play any DB position, including covering slot receivers, so I could see him in the mix at safety while also getting reps outside.

  • NCBiRDMann22

    I would be cool with Fuller in the first. And then grab Deon “The Cannon” Bucannon with the second. Then make a move for a WR that can play.

    Oh and yeah chandelier boy would ride the pine…not Fletch. Fletcher is more well rounded.

    • Maggie

      Well, with no pass rush, all those DBs would be REQUIRED to make lots of hits. Pick up lots of pass interference and unnecessary roughness penalties, too..

  • Tom W

    Don’t understand at all how fuller makes sense at 22. Chip has repeatedly said he likes our corners …. Fuller would never see the field year one …. Waste of a pick. I actually watched four of his games and while impressed of his man skills he was horrible in press coverage at the line a Davis staple and got beat deep twice for tds against Bama and Clemson. I’m worried about his long speed and ability to press cover. Much rather draft Mosley, odb, latimer or attaboy or trade back a few pick and draft latimer attaboy or van noy.

  • Tom W

    Most likely five pkayers eagles draft at 22 ….. Mosley, odb, trade back, latimer, attaboy, van noy

  • Tom W

    Eagles love Cary Williams and fletch and boykin and Carroll. Our starting corners we perfectly fine after the broncos game … It was the third down safety and linebacker play that was garbage. Now we have Jenkins who can set the secondary correctly and play center field and allow us to play 3 safety nickel or dime and the corners will actually be able to press. Cary played very well against dez and Marshall and against the saints. Fletch was reliable all year. Much much rather draft a better player at 22 like a wr or Mosley or attaboy or van noy or odb at a position where that pkayer will see the field immediately In a three wide set, as a third down nickel lb or as a sun for cole and meco. Carroll already can play slot and outside so the versatility isn’t such a need.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I’m not big on taking a CB in the 1st this year. Mainly for two reasons. 1) This CB class is decent but there aren’t any sure fire 1st rd guys. Other years where the class is stronger at the top and all of these top guys this year are 2nd rounders. 2) I just think that if we don’t go OLB or WR, we trade back. Making a pick just for the sake of making a pick doesn’t make sense to me. By that I mean, taking the guy you have rated as the top CB, just because he’s rated your top CB “this year”. Especially when you don’t have many to add some bona fide talent to your roster, seeing how we don’t spend much in FA.

    I like the kid though and wouldn’t be throwing stuff at the TV if they made the pick. I just really think that if we’re not going to be big spenders in FA, you need to swing for the fences in the draft to get your future stars.

    • Maggie

      Not sure about swinging or the fence, but totally agree OLB is waaay more important in the first round than CB.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Swinging for the fences is certainly circumstantial and depends on whom your swinging for and how far you’d need to move if at all. This obviously isn’t the best draft to move up b/c we lack firepower to do so. However, I see one player as “potentially” being a once in a decade type talent. That being Barr. Yeah you can compare to Dion Jordan because they are close in physical measurables and are both in defensive positions that rush the passer. But there is one key trait that sets Barr on a higher level and that’s his tenacity and killer instincts. That’s not a coachable trait & it’s not one that Dion shares. I’ll take Dion, don’t get me wrong. But there is an “it” factor about Barr that screams of potential to be not just good, but great.

        • Clamdigger

          I don’t see it. I think a stud CB would be fine at 22.

  • cliff henny

    PFF rankings. slight disagreement on few Eagles, overall think it’s fair. sure other 3 teams are similar, but does show Eagles are well ahead of NFC east in talent…and Dallas is near dumpster fire on defense.

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Neil/status/461910110173151232/photo/1

    • borntosuffer

      Yea, Cooper as a WR1 and “no immediate need” seems to be the only one I’d say is more than 1 off how I would see it.

    • Warhound

      Am I the only one who thinks the OLB ratings should be flipped?

  • Tom W

    Niners, vikes, jags, texans most likely trade back candidates. Wonder if grigsby and the colts and that former eagles connection and need for a first round pick could tempt him to trade is a second this year and first next year for 22. Gamble’s connection w Balke has to help too. Pats wouldn’t suprise me either for a trade up if they really covet someone. Any team w a aging veteran like pats saints broncos will be aggressive.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Broncos have Osweiler whom they seem to like and have been grooming. Not sure how much they like him, but they were pretty excited to get him where they did in the draft.

      • Richard Colton

        Wow! How pouty will Manning get if the Broncos draft a QB in round #1?

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Ehh, I don’t know. I think he’s already said that he’d understand if they did. I may be wrong there, but thought I glanced over that somewhere. While he’s defying odds right now, father time marches at a steady, yet firm pace and always catches you.

    • Richard Colton

      The 49ers have so much ammo to trade, it’s going to be fun watching what they do on draft night.

      • Tom W

        Atleast one trade up, a trade away for next year pick and a couple of injured guys like Brandon Thomas or Colvin. That Alex smith trade was robbery from fat Andy. Too bad Aldon is a lunatic, bowman is hurt, and kap isn’t the answer. O btw eagles got so lucky w schedule we get niners week before and week after they play Seattle! Twice and we get colts week after broncos

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I don’t know, if anyone’s got the ammo to make a huge move up, it’s definitely them. They could be eyeballing Barr as a possible replacement of the lunatic. Plus they’ve sustained injuries to their other LBs. They could use a guy that can chase down the likes of Wilson twice a year, plus Fangio loves him some LBs.

    • Birds4Life

      I dont think the eagles would trade a 1st this year for a 2nd this year and next year’s 1st. This draft is too deep to move down and not pick up more picks in this draft.

  • Tom W

    1) Mosley or odb or trade back
    2) latimer or attaboy or Buchanan or Marcus smith or Arob
    3) martavius, moncrief, Christian jones, dozier, Watkins, tre mason, Trent murphy
    4) ellington, wv d end, Preston brown, antone exum, dontae Johnson, Adrian Hubbard
    5) Brandon Thomas, Ronnie powell, josh huff, Brandon Coleman, Terence Mitchell, Brock vereen, lamin barrow, Brent urban, Aaron Colvin, wv rback
    6) colt Lyeria, deandre thorton, Janis, dri archer, Jerrold McKinnon
    7) ol, dat, kyri Thornton, cal te, mauro, tre, Wesley Johnson,

    • Bracey

      Great list. I’m in

  • DeafDoc

    I would be okay with Fuller if they move him to safety..

    • Jerry Pomroy

      That’s a pretty bold move for a 1st rd pick.

      • DeafDoc

        It sure would be.. but it will be the bpa and put the best 11 on the field. Thats worth the first round pick to me.

  • botto

    i have a feeling since our coach is so into it we will get some really good UDFA this year

  • Will

    I won’t cry if they pick him up at 22, although Id prefer to trade back if we cant get Barr, ODB, Haha or Pryor…