For almost as long as long as I can remember, the Vikings secondary has been a troubled area of the roster. My favorite player in the secondary was cut by the Vikings early last season and was brought in by the Seahawks, who then cut him also and he retired (Antoine Winfield). There are, however, new pieces added to our secondary that are good players. Harrison Smith has shown a lot of promise to be a top safety in the league, as well as new cornerback Xavier Rhodes who flashed shutdown potential when he was on the field this last season. With the new coaching staff in place, (who I approve of 100% by the way) I am thinking they bring in new pieces to help in the secondary. This past football season I enjoyed watching the Virginia Tech Hokies play "Beamer Ball" defense under Frank Beamer. One of the defensive players I enjoyed was cornerback Kyle Fuller.
· Weighs about 190 pounds, and is 6’0 tall
· Two brothers in the NFL, both wide receivers
· One younger brother who is a freshman at VT, also plays corner
· Second team all American his senior year
· First team All-ACC
· Started eight games, had 24 tackles, two interceptions and ten pass breakups as a senior
· Missed last eight games due to a groin injury, and had surgery in November on a core muscle issue
Some positives from Fullers play is that he is always around the ball, whether on defense or special teams. He is a dynamic playmaker that gets his hands on the ball. Fuller has very fluid hips and can easily turn and adjust with routes of offensive players. He runs around a 4.4 forty and has average speed at the position in the NFL, so he can hang with the competition. He also has very good recovery speed and quick feet if he is beat initially. One other thing that Fuller is very good at is ball skills, something Viking fans are not used to lately (Chris Cook). When the ball is in the air he is very aggressive and goes up to get it, often coming down with it or batting it away. Also very aggressive in run support coming up to attack the ball carrier off the edge. His versatility is also a plus, because he played some safety and slot corner at Virginia Tech.
Some negatives are that Fullers aggressiveness sometimes gets him in trouble. He may jump routes too soon and the ball gets behind him, leaving an open field for receivers. In run support you may find Fuller lunging at ball carriers, sometimes being left in the dust. He is not very effective in zone coverage, playing mostly man at Virginia Tech. His durability at this point is also a question mark, but he has room in his frame to add muscle, which will help with injuries. There are concerns that his senior year was his only breakout year, and he may have hit his peak. Many scouts have Fuller as a second to third round pick, mostly because of the depth at his position this year. I think Fuller could have been a first round pick in last year’s draft, but this draft is much deeper.
I encourage all of you to check out some of Kyle Fuller’s game film on draftbreakdown.com and see if you agree with my assessment.
(On a side note, Fuller recently had a personal best front squat of 370 pounds, which for a 190 pound man, is very good.)