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Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller could be a playmaker for the Redskins

Feb 19, 2016, 12:00 PM EDT

Kendall-Fuller-catch

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 69 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Kendall Fuller
Cornerback
Virginia Tech

source:

Height: 6-0
Weight: 196

What they’re saying

The playmaking production didn’t happen by accident. Fuller has the twitch and the anticipation to challenge throws on the NFL level and come away with his fair share of interceptions, but scouts are very leery of the chances he is willing to take as they have concerns about his ability to carry long speed. With the way Fuller plays the ball in front of him combined with his tackling prowess, his home could be with a Tampa­ 2-oriented defense that values physical, zone corners over speed.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins’ cornerback unit consists of Bashaud Breeland, who could be very good but is still learning, Chris Culliver, who may or may not be recovered from a serious knee injury by the time the season starts, and some assorted players they either promoted off of the practice squad or signed off of the street. In short, it’s shaky.

Fuller is a playmaker who could contribute as a rookie and probably slide into a starting role as the slot corner in 2017. He reacts to the ball well, a trait that showed up as he picked off eight passes and defensed 34 in 2013 and 2014.

Fuller is not afraid to mix it up as a tackler in run support. And while I’m not real big on “legacy” type items, it should be noted that he is the youngest of four brothers who played defensive back for the Hokies including Kyle, who was a first-round pick of the Bears in 2014. The Redskins have done well with DB’s who went to school in Blacksburg with DeAngelo Hall and Kyshoen Jarrett.

Potential issues: At 6-0 Fuller isn’t a small corner by any stretch but Scot McCloughan might want a cornerback he drafts early to be an inch or two taller. That doesn’t rule out Fuller but McCloughan will need to be impressed with his other traits to pull the trigger on him in the early going.

Fuller only played two season plus a few games at Virginia Tech and he has plenty of learning to do; scouting reports have noted he particularly has trouble with double moves. His career as a Hokie was cut short by a torn meniscus. He tried to play through it in 2015 but after three games he decided to have the injury repaired with surgery.

Bottom line: Although there isn’t a lot of concern over lingering effects from the injury to Fuller’s meniscus, the knee will still be thoroughly poked and prodded at the NFL Combine next week. If it passes muster he could emerge with a second-round grade. If there are still issues he could slide to the third.

Fuller could represent an opportunity for McCloughan to land a first-round talent later in the draft. He will need to be coached up but the Redskins could do that while having Culliver and Breeland start. The master plan for 2017 then may be to move on from Culliver and the $8 million in salary remaining on each of the final two years of his contract and go with Breeland and Fuller at cornerback.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

  1. Mann White - Feb 19, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    As the article states, he would probably be a Slot corner in 2017. But I don’t know about his ability to start for us at all in base packages, as
    we tend to play press and man in those situations. This draft will be interesting to say at least.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 19, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    I’ve seen him mocked to us in the 1st a few times. Probably be a huge steal for us in the 2nd, should he last that long…
    ~

  3. robert herrera - Feb 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    I think he can be a good cornerback but I see two prospects that can be better. One is Harlan Miller and the other is Eli Apple. Both are very physical and taller. Finally I believe for a strong safety would be Karl Joseph of West Virginia. This guy can cover and is not afraid to hit running backs.

    • berniebernard666 - Feb 21, 2016 at 12:19 AM

      Miller is very VERY good. I would take him in the 2nd round if he was availabe because he will not be there in the 3rd unless the entire NFL is full of nit wits.

  4. bangkokben - Feb 19, 2016 at 5:01 PM

    Sounds like a reasonable pick.

    Sense, some fans have been conditioned to chirp o-line whenevvev the draft is mentioned, I thought I’d post a tiny portion of Keim’s most recent piece on the o-line:

    “…The Redskins also already have two young starters on the right side in guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses and a third youngster who could start elsewhere in Spencer Long. I say elsewhere because he subbed for Lauvao at guard this past season, but could end up as the starting center this fall. The plan now is to have him work at center this offseason and if he can’t handle the job, they’ll stick with Lichtensteiger. If Long can handle it, then Lichtensteiger likely would be released (potential savings: $3.5 million) later in the spring. And the plan at guard is to let Lauvao and Kouandjio battle it out; that’ll be interesting as the latter barely played as a rookie and the former is coming off an injury.”

    Interesting…

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 19, 2016 at 7:46 PM

      That leaves us hoping Long can make it at center, and either Lauvao can come back from his surgeries or Kouandjio can make the 2nd year leap.

      Of course, that’s what drafting and developing your players is all about. I wouldn’t mind seeing us draft one of the centers Keim mentioned.

      “Two interesting mid-round possibilities include Michigan’s Graham Glasgow and Notre Dame’s Nick Martin.”

      Martin people know about, Glasgow did well for himself at the Senior Bowl and should be around in the 4th or 5th round.
      ~

      • bangkokben - Feb 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

        That also sounds reasonable. For all the years the Redskins neglected drafting the o-line, they have changed their ways over the past few years and that gives them options. A starting o-line of Williams, Kouandjio, Long, Scherff, and Moses would be crazy interesting but would still need back-ups. The real position of neglect in the draft has been d-line.We have had four straight drafts where we haven’t used on pick on the front three.

  5. ET - Feb 19, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    Don’t like the Hokies, but I sure do like a lot of their defensive players, this guy among them.

    Fuller’s height isn’t a concern, IMO. He’s another smart player. They get ’em game-smart and game-ready down in Blacksburg.

  6. renhoekk2 - Feb 19, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Sounds a lot like Amerson. A lot of INT’s playing zone coverage in college and seems best suited for a Tampa 2 defense. Doesn’t have the speed to run with WR in man coverage at the NFL level. Could have cut and pasted Amerson’s scouting report from a few years ago.

    • Justin - Feb 24, 2016 at 12:17 AM

      He played mainly in man. Shows what you know

  7. kenlinkins - Feb 19, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    I have Kendall Fuller much further down the list than 21st. on my Big Board (now sitting at 63). One of my problems right now is that spots 15 to 75 are rated very close to each other. The Combine will help some but IMO this draft has a large sweet spot from the top of the 2nd thru the 4th which is why I hope the Redskins can trade back and gain picks in these rounds (unless Myles Jack, Joey Bosa, or Ramsey falls to 21st).

  8. ashhole420 - Feb 19, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    in FA I think DMV native Chris Long could fit in this defense as a rush end/OLB/ sometimes and a DE others, he has the strength and speed to be very good in certain looks with this defense, and he was born and raised in the DMV. I would sign him for the right home town price.

    The Redskins SHOULD SIGN MLB James Laurinaitus . He would be bigger and faster London Fletcher in the football smarts he has and the tackling Machine he is. He is a Leader and a on field Coach just like London also. Sign him and draft a MLB for him to mentor.

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