2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller

With the regular season well behind us, our focus has shifted to the offseason and the 2014 NFL Draft. For the next few months, We will be providing scouting reports on draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at, while others we breakdown will be off the board before the Steelers select. All of this is done to make you as prepared as possible for the draft.

Today we will scout Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller.

Kyle Fuller/CB Virginia Tech: 5’11” 194

The Good

– Nice size and length

– Athletic with good change of direction

– Mentally tough

– Willing tackler against the run

– Experience in off, press and zone coverages

– Played both sides and also in slot

– NFL bloodline

– Good special teams player

– Good understanding of angles

– Above average technique with a nice backpedal and hip turn

– Played well against top college competition

The Bad

– Injury concerns

– Long speed questions need to be answered

– Needs to learn to use sideline better as an extra defender

– Splash play deficient

– Needs to improve tackling technique

– Will turn and run too early instead of staying square

– Could stand to be more physical with jams off of the line when in press-man


– 2013 Team captain

– 2013 Second-Team All-American (Walter Camp)

– 2013 Coaches First-Team All-ACC

– 2013 Third-Team All-ACC

– 2012 Honorable Mention All-ACC

– 2012 Coaches All-ACC Honorable Mention

– 2011 Second-Team All-ACC

Not having access to All-22 coaches tape really makes defensive backs tough to breakdown as regular television tape doesn’t show you everything. Fuller, however, does jump out on the TV tape and if you are in to cornerback metrics, I highly suggest you read up here on how the Hokie stacks up against the other top cornerbacks in the nation.

A lot of the gifs below come from the season opener last year against Alabama. Why? Because I thought he really showed a good selection of pluses and minuses in that game and it was against top-notch competition

One of the traits that will endear Fuller to several teams is that he isn’t afraid to stick his face in the fan. In other words, he’s willing to come up and tackle the run. While his technique needs some work, here is a clip of him against Alabama making a shoulder tackle. He does, however, injury himself in doing so. You would like to see him wrap up and bring his feet instead of using the shoulder.

While the end result on this play is a positive, Fuller, as I mentioned above in the weaknesses, likes to open up too soon at times. Below, he gets turned around in man coverage from the slot as the receiver breaks inside as soon as he turns open to the sideline. His athleticism allows him to recover, however, and he registers a pass defensed.

A good job in trail coverage here from the inside out as he mirrors the receiver all the way through the route.

A good job here by Fuller of not getting himself turned around and he beats the receiver to the ball for an interception.

Fuller has paid his dues on special teams during his college career and he’s not afraid to deliver a blow when it’s called for.

Once again, the result is fine here, but with outside leverage he still allows the receiver a free release to the outside. Fuller likes to rely way too much on his ability to recover and that won’t fly at the NFL level.

Another run stop here against Alabama. Like I already mentioned, he’s not afraid of contact.

I will say this, Fuller really uses those long arms of his well and believes that he can make a play on every ball in the air in his vicinity.

Here Fuller is being a victim of a double move for a touchdown against North Carolina.

Want a kid with versatility? The next three gifs are against Georgia Tech where Fuller was asked to play the whip linebacker position to defend against the Yellow Jacket flexbone offense. He was asked to do that plenty of times throughout his college career against Georgia Tech.

During his recent conference call, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said he has Fuller as his third best cornerback in the draft and when you watch his tape, you can see why he really likes the kid.

At the combine, Fuller’s medical evaluation will need to be through. He missed several games last season with a groin injury and reportedly needed surgery to repair a sports hernia midway through the season that resulted in him being shut down for good.

Also at the combine, Fuller will need to show that he has long speed as his weakness seems to be running deep against vertical routes. He plays much better with the ball in front of him and he loves to read and jump routes. If he runs fast at the combine and his medical checks out, he might very well find himself as a first-round prospect.

While Fuller had a huge amount of pass breakups at Virginia Tech, he only registered six career interceptions. I kind of was expecting that number to be a little higher based on how much he played.

Can he make the move to free safety if asked to? Yes, and I don’t think that a lot about many young cornerbacks.

Fuller comes from a football family and teams will like that. Vincent Fuller was a safety for several years in the league and Corey Fuller was a practice squad wide receiver last year. His younger brother is still at Virginia Tech.

Fuller would be a perfect fit for the Steelers. His technique flaws should be easy to fix and he figures to be starter in the NFL for several seasons. Is he worthy of the 15th overall selection like Mayock hints? Probably not and that might be the Steelers only chance to draft him as I doubt he will still be on the board when they pick in the second round. He would be a steal in round two for any team, in my honest opinion.

Projection: Mid 1st to early 2nd Round

Games Watched: vs Alabama, vs North Carolina, at Georgia Tech

Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson

  • Richie

    Looks good to me, esp.if he can play safety too

  • Aric Brown

    Getting burned by a double move fir a touchdown….. he’ll fit right in


    Interception? Interception…………. sorry, I’m not familiar with the term.

  • kev4heels

    1.15 is too high for Fuller IMO.
    I love him in the late 1st or 2nd. I have been pimping him as our 2nd round pick for awhile. Although, I think he has moved up a bit. I LOVE his attacking style. Perfect Steeler CB.

  • steeltown

    I like this kid… but the only way we select him is if with a trade back and grab him early 2nd Rd

  • JT

    “Splash Play Deficient”- The motto of the CBs since Woodson left.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    He would seem to be a good candidate for a trade down for the Steelers with picking up another pick or two and taking Fuller further down in the first round. Obviously, if he has tremendous numbers at the combine, he could move up some, but not to the 15th, in my opinion. I still like Justin Gilbert for the Steelers pick, but you need to have a plan B, in case he is gone.

  • dkoy85

    Oh man I like this kid. I didn’t watch any tape on him but with the highlighted gifs and the corner backs metrics his flaws seem to be very fixable. Him and Cortez as our #1 & 2 really, really makes me excited. I’ve been against drafting CB round 1 but after watching him I’m praying for a trade back or a poor combine performance to drop him to the 46th pick. Any scenario where we trade back and get a play maker is the ultimate scenario IMO.

  • dkoy85

    If ever there was a year to trade back this would be the year! That combined with some prodding in the FA pool and this team could look very nice next year and beat the Seahawks good in 2015. Fingers crossed! If I see “trade was made” when the Steelers are on the clock I’m going to jump for joy- seriously.

  • steeltown

    J.Gilbert would help two issues.. CB and KR.. I would be happy with that selection

  • James Kling

    I’d love to get Fuller as part of a trade-down. In fact, trade back twice and get 2 R2-3 picks if possible.

  • Steve

    Fuller reminds me of a young Clark when he loved to tackle. Will see how he does in the Combine and checks out Health wise. As long as he has a good attitude and willingness to learn, will be a good addition to any team.

  • Derick L Young

    Mayock says this kid is a 1st round talent. interesting…

  • Showboogie

    Benjamin at 15. Fuller at 46. My first to picks

  • cencalsteeler

    Was team captain……..Hmmmmmmm. If there’s a trend, he should be in the mix.

  • chris ward

    Like how aggressive Fuller plays, always playing with a high motor.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yup. Last year they started a new trend — try to take responsible, hopefully intelligent guys that will not screw up too bad. Captains of their teams usually qualify.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yup. I have been saying the exact same thing for months. The Vikings got away with a boatload of picks simply because they dealt with SF. Frisco had about 14 picks stashed away, and what the hell were they going to do with 14 picks. They already had a good team so most would eventually get cut.

    Anyone know a team that has a boatload of picks they don;t need? That’s how you move down.

    back to the topic, I don;t want him, but am leaning towards some other guys. Would love Gilbert, but he’ll be gone, so maybe a 2nd or 3rd rounder as there should be lots of depth. SJ Baptiste, and a few others that escape me.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Good one…golf clap

  • AndyR34

    steeltown – while I basically agree that this might be a good year to trade back for an additional 2 or 3, one is likely to give up on the chance for an elite player @15. With so many underclassmen coming out, the chances for an elite player falling to 15 increase…not so much chance @ 20-something. Not impossible…just more likely to get a very good player. Would that be worth it? Everybody has an opinion.

  • steeltown

    Of course.. someone will fall to them at #15 overall, that’s usually how it happens.. but some of these late 1st and 2nd Rd prospects are really not all that far off talent wise from the so called “elite”

  • shawn

    That is exactly what i think we should do … i would even take less value in the trade back just to get the deal done …. Top TE and a good S/CB would be a great move !

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I think this kid is meant to be a Steeler, if he has an outstanding combine i’ll welcome him at 15

  • shawn

    ya didnt know he was do productive in the return game .. but what about if we pick up a change of pace back/KR in the late rounds ala DAT/Archer

  • shawn

    haven’t seen much film on either but glibert reminds me a little of the DB from Colorado a couple years ago in baltimore jimmy smith … how is he panning out … haven’t followed him ?

  • Patrick Reid

    Been high on DAT and Archer later for awhile. Much needed.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    The only CB worth taking at 15 is Gilbert, maybe Dennard. Like everyone else I hope they trade down and end up with Dennard, Ebron, or Lee

  • Ike Evans

    If he runs well then 15 isn’t too high for him but NOT for us….he has zone coverage experience but its not good experience….he gets burned the most when playing zone…his route recognition is slow…I think he’s good but not for our defense because we run mostly zone…plus we need no more splash play deficient dB’s…please and thanks

  • shawn

    i want some DBs that have big int numbers …. about time yes ??

  • shawn

    i dont think any of them are worth a 15th pick … would much rather gamble with some of the 2-4th round guys

  • Brian Miller

    I think if our D-line and Linebacker play improves and plays like it has in the past, the splash plays will come. We need more pressure…

  • Ike Evans

    I don’t care where the splash plays come from…..what I do care about is seeing at least 7 balls off the top of my head hit our DB’s hands this year and drop to the ground and most weren’t body contortion tough polamalu catches either….so regardless if we’re getting pass rush or not it won’t matter if we keep getting guys who have lesser ball skills….those balls are gonna still hit off their hands

  • Brian Miller

    Would I love to have all of those qualities in a CB that we draft, sure! Sign me up! But unless we do draft a CB in the 1st, or maybe the 2nd round, there will be significant negatives associated with the picks making them drop, and I put more value on coverage skills and tackling than if they can catch the ball. Just my opinion…

  • Ike Evans

    Well I think we will go db in the first 2 rounds…not only that there are guys like Vic Hampton you can get in the 4th round who have all of those qualities in this draft because its so deep…there is a better chance we draft a playmaker at corner or safety then an 8+ sack guy next year in this draft…any olb we draft is depth next year