Kendall Fuller 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Overview
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 187 pounds
School: Virginia Tech Hokies

Combine Performance Data
Bench press (225 pounds): 15 reps

Kendall Fuller 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Kendall Fuller wasn’t the first member of his family to excel collegiately at Virginia Tech and have designs on a pro career. All three of his older brothers have done the same. Two of them are still playing in the NFL. Kyle was a first round pick at cornerback in 2014 and currently plays for the Chicago Bears. Corey was picked in the sixth round a year earlier and is a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. And Vincent, his much older sibling at the age of 33, played in the league from 2005-11 for the Titans, Lions and Patriots.

Suffice it to say that it’s in Kendall’s bloodline to embark on a career at the next level. But irrespective of all that, he certainly showed his potential as an NFL caliber cover corner during his time in Blacksburg. Though his¬†2015 season was cut short due to a meniscus injury that required season-ending surgery, he established himself as one of the ACC’s best defensive backs the previous two years.

As a freshman in 2013, he had six interceptions. Only six other players in FBS had more that year. It led to him being named conference defensive rookie of the year. He also collected Freshman All-American honors from numerous publications. A year later, he broke up 15 passes which was tied for sixth-best nationally and led the conference. For his career, he finished with 25 pass break-ups. That total has been bested by just five ACC players since 2005.

Strengths

  • possesses elite-level athleticism and effortless footwork.
  • excellent lateral twitch and fluid hip movement.
  • mirrors receivers well in press and off-man coverage.
  • opportunistic player that easily pounces on errant throws.
  • ability to anticipate flight of the ball to force pass break-ups is about as good as it gets.
  • can be an additional threat in the backfield on corner blitzes.
  • will likely be an immediate contributor on special teams.
  • highly competitive with immense drive to succeed.

Weaknesses

  • a bit undersized for an outside corner.
  • can get overwhelmed by physical receivers blocking downfield in run coverage.
  • penchant for taking chances to force turnovers could lead to big plays on offense at next level.
  • oftentimes is a step off in diagnosing receivers change of direction.
  • forces the issue at times when receivers get behind him, leading to pass interference penalties.
  • battled numerous injury issues throughout college career.

NFL Comparison: Casey Hayward

Teams with Needs at Position: Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: early to middle second round

Bottom Line

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s 4-2-5 scheme tends to put a lot of responsibility¬†on the boundary corners. The amount of pressure at the point of attack at times means the outside defensive backs are forced into a lot of man coverage with little help over the top. That served to help Fuller develop his skill set as a ball-hawking cornerback capable of shutting down receivers on his own and making big plays. Though scouts are concerned about his tendency to over-commit and subsequently get beat vertically, the raw talent and drive to succeed is there. Not to mention the fact that it appears the game is in his blood. Teams will certainly target him as a special teams option to start. If he can stay healthy, the potential is there for Kendall Fuller to become a dynamic playmaker at corner in the NFL.

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