NFL Overdraft Alert: Is Will Fuller Destined To Be A Draft Day Bust?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There has been talk of Notre Dame’s Will Fuller being the first wide receiver off the board and nearly a lock to be selected in the first round.  That said, is he destined to be a bust at the spot he’s to be picked?  That’s not to say that he’s not going to be a productive NFL player, but let this comparison sink in…

Ted Ginn Jr.

That’s who NFL.com used as the comparison for their scouting report.  It’s the same Ted Ginn Jr. who was selected in the first round back in 2007 (ninth overall) and for his career has racked up 255 receptions and never more than 56 in a season (and never more than 790 yards).

That type comparison should send shudders down your spine.  While others have tried to compare him to Desean Jackson, NFL.com quoted a current NFL Scout (who is also a former NFL receiver) who said:

“I hear the DeSean Jackson comparison and I can’t get there. DeSean was faster, tougher and more reliable than Fuller. I’m not saying Fuller can’t play, but I don’t think he’s DeSean.”

While Fuller has electric speed, there are numerous questions hanging over him:

Size – He’s listed at 184 lbs, which is going to bring with it questions on how he’ll deal with a more physical brand of football.  As NFL.com said:

“Undersized outside receiver with skinny legs who is unlikely to make a living in the middle of the field.”

CBS Sports adds:

“Below average functional strength and can be knocked off his route.”

Hands – Simply put, he drops too many passes.  Here’s what CBS Sports had to say about him:

“Smaller hands and prone to body catches with too many drops on his college film – equal opportunity dropper, losing focus on various types of passes. Unreliable in contested situations.”

The numbers over the past two seasons have been impressive, including 29 TD and back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons.  That said there’s a significant difference between college and the pros and right now there are certainly a lot of questions hanging over him.

There appears to be a much better chance that he’s a complimentary receiver who can stretch the defense as opposed to developing into a top receiving option.  If he’s drafted with expectations of the latter, the team making the pick will almost certainly end up disappointed.

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN, CBS Sports

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