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2016 NFL Draft: Notre Dame Wide Receiver Will Fuller

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Could the speedy wide receiver sneak his way in to the first round?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Physical stature

Height: 6'0"

Arm Length: 30 ¾"

Weight: 186 lbs

Hands: 8 ¼"

Combine Results

40 yard dash: 4.32 seconds

Bench Ppess: 10 reps

Vertical jump: 33.5 inches

Broad jump: 126 inches

3 cone drill: 6.93 seconds

20 yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds

60 yard shuttle: 11.44 seconds

Season Recap

Fuller is coming off of two record-setting seasons at Notre Dame. He was able to use his speed and agility to basically just run past defenders for the home run hit. As stated earlier, in 2015 over 27% of his catches were for 25 yards or more and averaged 20.3 yards per reception. He hauled in 62 receptions for 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns. Fuller is leaving Notre Dame second on the school's all-time receiving touchdown list at 30.

Fuller teased Notre Dame fans during the season last year as he said he was coming back for his senior year. When asked to clarify that comment, he again reiterated that he wanted to get his degree from Notre Dame. Something changed from that locker room interview to the end of the season, as Fuller had decided to forego his final year of eligibility after the Fiesta Bowl. I'm sure that the sight of Jaylon's horrific injury during that game helped sway his decision to leave (along with a few other guys as well, I'm sure).

Projections:

NFL.com

Charles Davis: Houston Texans (#22 overall)

Bucky Brooks: Houston Texans (#22 overall)

Ike Taylor: New York Giants (#10 overall)

Lance Zerlein: Houston Texans (#22 overall)

Maurice Jones-Drew: Minnesota Vikings (#23 overall)

CBS Sports

Rob Rang: Cincinnati Bengals (#24 overall)

Dane Brugler: Minnesota Vikings (#23 overall)

Pete Prisco: Minnesota Vikings (#23 overall)

Will Brinson: Cincinnati Bengals (#24 overall)

Jared Dubin: Minnesota Vikings (#23 overall)

Seems like for the most part, draft analysts envision Fuller going either up to Minnesota or down to Houston. As someone who resides in the greater Cincinnati area, I'd love to see him drafted by the Bengals. Then again, I don't want to see him condemn to decades of no postseason win. Personally, I'd like to see Fuller head up to the Vikings. There isn't a dominate wide receiver there, so Fuller would have plenty of opportunities to see the ball. Plus, they have a good young quarterback to build years of chemistry with. With Adrian Peterson apparently still beating Father Time, Fuller can use his speed to burn DB's on the play-action pass. Houston doesn't seem like a good fit as they still search for a franchise quarterback. That could be Osweiler, but who knows.

Strengths

Fuller's biggest strength is his vertical threat and overall speed to get behind defenses and burn DB's. Just over 27% of his receptions last year went for 25 or more yards and averaged 20.3 yards per catch. Has great start/stop ability to change direction and to separate from defenders. Tracks the ball very well through the air and times his jumps perfectly, rarely missing downfield throws. He also has very high awareness for the boundary and uses it to his advantage.

Weaknesses

Standing at just 6 foot and with a very lean body type, he lacks the ideal big framed body that the NFL loves. He can easily get knocked off his routes. There are concerns with the size of his hands (I hate that scouting has come down to worrying about the size of someone's hands, but for a wide receiver this does make sense). This causes him to be prone to uses his body to help catch the ball which leads to more drops than scouts are comfortable with (Hello Boston College game). With his body size, he more than likely won't be able to work the middle of the field to his advantage. Won't pose much of a help in the run blocking game.

Player Comparisons

Ted Ginn, Jr.

Quote

"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." -- Former NFL receiver and current scout