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Will Fuller | Wide Receiver

Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Age / DOB:  (24) / 4/16/1994
Ht / Wt:  6'0" / 182

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CBS Sports' Pete Prisco disliked the Texans' decision to draft Notre Dame WR Will Fuller in the first round.
Prisco just can't stomach Fuller's inconsistency, even with his obvious speed advantage over most opposing corners. "Josh Doctson might have been a better option [at No. 21]," the analyst wrote. He and Rotoworld's Evan Silva might want to sit down for an adult beverage to discuss the matter, as Silva, too, raised an eyebrow over the Fuller pick. Prisco does like the brain trust's decision to scoop up S prospect K.J. Dillon in the fifth round. He is also a fan of second-round C Nick Martin. For the draft as a whole, the senior NFL columnist awarded the Texans a respectable B for this class. Sun, May 8, 2016 01:25:00 PM
Source: CBS Sports

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Rotoworld's Evan Silva gave the Texans' draft a C+ grade.

"I think [GM Rick] Smith made good picks here, but I can also envision scenarios where this draft looks rough in a couple of years," Silva wrote. The analyst was particularly puzzled by the Texans' decision to take "low-volume deep threat" Notre Dame WR Will Fuller in the first round over the "more-talented" Josh Doctson. In addition, Silva points out that Rd. 2 center Nick Martin tested poorly, third-round WR Braxton Miller is a project, fifth-round S K.J. Dillon is "a straight-linish box safety", and fourth-round RB Tyler Ervin "could max out as a scatback/return specialist."
Source: Rotoworld
Tue, May 3, 2016 09:20:00 PM

Texans selected Notre Dame WR Will Fuller with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Fuller (6'0/186) spent three years at Notre Dame -- two as a starter -- capping his career with 144 catches for 2,512 yards (17.44 YPR) and 30 TDs. Fuller confirmed his blazing deep speed in Indy by running 4.32, but also showed his limitations with a disappointing 33 1/2-inch vertical while measuring in with short arms (30 3/4") and tiny hands (8 1/4"). A small, finesse burner, Fuller has a place in the NFL as a lid lifter, but his hands were an issue with 21 drops the past two seasons, and Fuller projects as a low-volume target.
Thu, Apr 28, 2016 10:35:00 PM

The Texans, according to SI's Peter King, "love everything" about Notre Dame WR Will Fuller except for the drops.

Fuller had 21 drops over the past two years, so this is not an unjustified nor insignificant qualm. But Houston is serious about adding a speed receiver across from DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller is who King gave them at No. 22 in his mock draft. "One personnel man said the drops are about Fuller not being a totally confident and fluid catcher of the ball, which could come with time," King wrote. "Or not."
Source: MMQB
Mon, Apr 25, 2016 04:22:00 PM

An anonymous NFL scout compared Notre Dame WR Will Fuller to Mike Wallace.

This is a popular comp, with PFF making it just last week. "In that he doesn't have great hands and he's fast as hell," the scout explained. "He can make somebody run deep and then throw the ball underneath. He's going to be a smoother route runner than Mike." Fuller had 21 drops over the past two years, perhaps explained by his small hands (8.25 inches). "He's been clocked as low as 4.28," another scout said. "Frail body so he'll have his drop issues across the middle in traffic. If you pressed him they went vertical fade. If they played off they ran a stop route. I never saw him come inside. DeSean Jackson is the same way." A third scout panned Fuller as not being worth a first-rounder: "If you want somebody to scare a defense, that's the guy. His hands aren't the best. Not a great route runner, not a lot of toughness inside. Somebody might take him bottom of the first round [because of his forty time]."
Fri, Apr 22, 2016 01:55:00 PM

Pro Football Focus likens Notre Dame WR Will Fuller to Mike Wallace.

"Fuller’s speed shows up on the field and compares favorably to Mike Wallace’s, as both players are more than capable of scaring defensive coordinators with their ability to get behind the defense," the site noted. Fuller, who a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, ranked third in the country with 708 yards on deep passes last year. PFF believes Wallace's career has fallen off in part because of a lack of downfield ball skills in contested situations, a trait Fuller shares. "Both Fuller and Wallace have the speed to get behind the defense, they can create separation on the vertical route tree, and they are boom-or-bust players who need the right quarterback and system to fully maximize their skill sets," PFF concluded.
Thu, Apr 14, 2016 01:03:00 PM

Notre Dame WR Will Fuller is ranked as Lance Zierlein's top prospect at the position.

Fuller received a grade of 6.28, while Laquon Treadwell sits slightly behind at 6.25. Zierlein lists and understands Fuller's weaknesses, but adds the receiver "possesses the coveted ability to hit the big play and score touchdowns." This reads a lot like our thoughts on Corey Coleman, as big plays change the scope and outcome of a contest. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah reported Fuller could be the first receiver off the board on April 28.
Mon, Apr 11, 2016 10:20:00 AM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah believes Notre Dame WR Will Fuller could be the first receiver off the board "based on what I'm hearing."

It would be a shock but obviously in the realm of possibility. Will Fuller is a role player and on the spectrum of Phillip Dorsett and Devin Smith, two receivers in last year's class. Fuller is an outstanding vertical receiver with easy speed, however, he lack the same ball skills Smith possessed and dealt with a number of drops this season. If a team benches Fuller for his drops, they did not prepare correctly for the type of player he is on the field. Another question is if Fuller can consistently win in either the short or intermediate games on top of his 20-plus yard prowess.
Wed, Apr 6, 2016 09:06:00 AM

Notre Dame WR Will Fuller weighed in four pounds lighter during Thursday's Pro Day than he did at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Fuller measured at 6-foot, 186 pounds during the Combine back in late February. Four pounds have gone by the wayside in the interim, though, bringing him down to 182 pounds for Pro Day purposes. "Like he did at the [C]ombine," CBS Sports analyst Rob Rang wrote, "Fuller caught the ball well during positional drills, easing one of the biggest concerns scouts have about him after a career in which too many catchable passes slipped through his fingers." We would question whether performing well in pass-catching drills can truly be used as any sort of metric for future NFL success, but that's the NFL scouting universe for you. Performing well in drills at the Combine and on Pro Day can legitimately sway opinions regardless of the small sample sizes in play. Fuller has worked himself into the late first-round discussion at this point and should be drafted in the second round if Day 1 sees him passed over.
Source: CBS Sports
Sat, Apr 2, 2016 07:33:00 PM

Looking at potential first round/second round draft combinations, NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks suggested the Browns would be well off selecting North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz and Notre Dame WR Will Fuller.

Wrote Brooks, "I think head coach Hue Jackson and quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton find a way to craft their offense around [Wentz's] unique skill set," adding that he believes Wentz will be a "terrific pro in time." As to what the Browns might do with pick No. 32 at the start of the second round, the analyst likes Fuller as a "home-run hitter." He wrote that "[i]f [Fuller] becomes a consistent pass-catcher, there's no doubt that he's going to make plenty of big plays." Brooks also likes Fuller because he sees a potential Batman-Robin scenario at wideout if Josh Gordon can return to playing football without issue in 2016.
Fri, Mar 25, 2016 03:27:00 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote that if "[Notre Dame WR Will Fuller] gets into the right situation, where he's a complementary piece and not the primary option, then [he] can succeed."

"Fuller's speed is evident (4.32 40-yard dash at the combine), and he'll make any defense pay if it loses him in a zone or puts a lesser corner on his side," Reuter noted. "However," he added, "that won't happen very often in the NFL." The analyst sees one of his biggest hurdles coming on the physical side of the equation, as he questions whether he'll be able to take a beating at 6-foot, 186 pounds. He also brought up an old war cry we've heard before regarding Fuller. "[His] drops have been much-discussed, and his 8 1/4-inch hand measurement at the combine didn't silence those concerns." Scout Inc.'s Nathan Forster is far less dubious, writing earlier in March that "size is highly overrated at the wide receiver position."
Thu, Mar 24, 2016 05:50:00 PM

Scout Inc.'s Nathan Forster wrote that "[s]couts may be concerned that [Notre Dame WR Will] Fuller has a relatively slight build (6-feet, 186 pounds), but size is highly overrated at the wide receiver position."

"Great wide receivers have come in all shapes and sizes; what matters is production," Forster believes. He cites Football Outsider's "Playmaker Score," which projects Fuller to average 561 yards per season over his first five years in the NFL--second only in their projection to Baylor WR Corey Coleman. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has compared him to Emmanuel Sanders, but Forster went back slightly further to comp him to Santonio Holmes and Torry Holt.
Fri, Mar 18, 2016 10:23:00 PM

Pro Football Focus ranks Notre Dame WR Will Fuller behind less-heralded prospects like Daniel Braverman, Rashard Higgins, Michael Thomas (the Southern Miss one as well as the Ohio State one) and Leonte Carroo.

"There are two problems with Fuller, the first being the fact that he dropped 21 of the 159 catchable passes thrown his way between 2014 and 2015," Gordon McGuiness wrote. "The second is that many see him as a one-trick pony who can only really have success as a speedster on go routes. The thing is, he’s pretty good at that one trick, and his 4.32 40-yard dash time backs up the fact that he is one of the few receivers in this draft class who can burn defensive backs downfield." While the 6-foot, 186-pounder stands accused of being a one-dimensional body-catcher, he did lead college in deep-ball catch rate last year. Fuller caught an elite 17-of-29 targets thrown 20-plus yards downfield and turned those 17 touches into 10 touchdowns.
Tue, Mar 15, 2016 10:49:00 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler wrote that Notre Dame WR Will Fuller "has the uncanny ability to create separation late in his routes."

Brugler notes that Fuller's ability to ramp it up once the ball's in the air is one that "most cornerbacks can't match." The analyst refers to him as the "most dangerous deep threat in this draft class." He's not alone in viewing the 6-foot, 186-pounder as an elite master of elusiveness, as Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell wrote after his combine performance (4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash) that he is a prospect who's "impossible to cover." Brugler isn't particularly concerned with Fuller's drop tendencies, either. Concluded the analyst, "His concentration issues and drops can be frustrating, but his strengths as a downfield playmaker will help teams look past his flaws as he can stretch the field and draw defenders away from other targets."
Source: CBS Sports
Fri, Mar 11, 2016 06:01:00 PM

Rials recruiting director Mike Farrell sees Notre Dame WR Will Fuller as "impossible to cover."

Farrell makes his bold statement based on Fuller's "excellent hands and body control." Interesting that Farrell's actually high on his hands, because almost nobody else is. The Irish standout dropped a combined 21 passes over the last two seasons, the most in the FBS over that span. This is where Rivals offers a different angle than other analysts who have focused merely on a player's college days. Farrell scouted Fuller when he was at Roman Catholic High heading into the 2013 recruiting cycle and notes, "The inconsistency with his hands is puzzling because he caught everything out of high school." For what it's worth (very little), Fuller didn't drop a pass while running the gauntlet at the combine. Obviously, his game tape holds far, far more value.
Sun, Mar 6, 2016 03:58:00 PM