The Falcons need a new starting free safety. Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech is someone the Falcons need to have on their radar. According to Ross Jones of Fox Sports, Atlanta worked him out at Virginia Tech on April 2:
Fuller could instantly slide into the starting free safety role and would be selected right at the top of the second round. Follow along for how Fuller fits the Falcons' schemes and needs.
Virginia Polytechnical University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 5'11.75" Weight: 190 pounds
Arm Length: 32.875"; Hand Measurement: 9.375"
40-yard dash: 4.49 sec.; 10-yard split: 1.59 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.19 sec.; 3-cone Drill: 6.90 sec.; Bench Reps: 12 reps
Vertical Jump: 38.5"; Broad Jump: 10'8"
2013: 7 Games Played, 24 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 10 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 Punt Return, 23 Yards
2012: 13 Games Played, 52 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 5 Pass Deflections
2011: 14 Games Played, 65 Tackles, 14.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.5 Sacks, 4 QB Hurries, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 7 Pass Deflections, 2 Punt Returns, 18 Yards, 1 Touchdown
2010: 14 Games Played, 32 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 Fumble Forced, 6 Pass Deflections
Fuller has great physical abilities and the perfect size for an NFL free safety. He also is larger than the average cornerback. This helps him out as he can hang with the taller, stronger receivers out there in man coverage effectively.
He is also a very solid tackler and is effective as a blitzer. He also makes plays on the ball in the air and can create turnovers. His experience as a safety, cornerback and nickel in the Hokies defense will allow him to translate well into the mixed coverage roles Atlanta has its corners and safeties run.
Fuller's biggest weakness comes from his injury concerns. If he can stay healthy for a full NFL season, he could make impacts each season similar to what William Moore has. He does find himself in poor position sometimes due to his poor reads in zone coverage.
He'll be overaggressive and wind up getting burnt at times. However, he needs to develop into an NFL mindset that will make sure he doesn't get beat deep if he wants to end up as a Falcons free safety for the long term.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Fuller was never arrested nor was he ever suspended. He also has an urgent athleticism to him that general manager Thomas Dimitroff loves. On top of that, he has good bloodlines—another thing the Comrade loves—as his brothers Vincent, Corey and Kendall also have played for the Hokies.
He's a college graduate and a senior who has started and produced in all four seasons. And for the cherry on top, he was a team captain for the Hokies during their 2013 campaign. If there was ever a Comrade Filter fit in this year's draft, it's Fuller.
Fuller has a risk-or-reward style of play that will need to be worked on. But Joe Danna and Tim Lewis would be great teachers for the Hokies defensive back. Fuller can start for any team in the NFL at cornerback, nickel or free safety.
Fuller can be a Pro Bowl player for a long time in the right scheme. Atlanta would be a great fit for the Hokies defensive back, as he could get an early competition for a starting spot and a group of talent around him that would help protect him.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
The Falcons would luck out if Fuller is there in the second round at pick No. 37. He'd be an ideal fit for them at free safety and could easily play nickel in some situations too. Fuller would be the starting free safety from the second he gets selected.
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan would love having him there because he's not afraid to hit and can deliver a pop when he does. But if the Falcons want to bring in a free safety who can legitimately be an upgrade, it will be Kyle Fuller.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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