The Cincinnati Bengals could very well be using their first round pick, number 24 overall, on a new cornerback. With Leon Hall recovering from a second severe leg injury, and Adam Jones and Terence Newman getting older, they could use a talented young cornerback to start adding into the mix. If Dre Kirkpatrick develops into the player the team envisioned when they drafted him in round one a few offseasons ago, they would have a nice duo in the secondary.
Kyle Fuller has quickly risen up draft boards recently, as NFL scouts realize what the internet draft community has know for some time: he’s a huge talent, and star-in-waiting. A few months ago, he was largely considered a second round pick, but now, he might go inside the top 20.
Strengths: At first glance, Fuller has ideal height for the position at 6’0″, though he’s a little on the lean side. Despite his thin frame, he is still a physical player, willing to stick his head in and make a hit, both in the passing and running game. He is also a tremendous athlete with the speed to cover any receiver, and he possesses great closing ability. An underrated part of his game is the mental aspect. He’s a smart player, with great instincts, who is effective in all parts of the game, including special teams, which only makes him more attractive to NFL teams.
Weaknesses: NFL receivers will try to take advantage of his size, and push him around. There will also be durability questions because of his frame. Also, while Fuller is quick, he’s not a blazer, so he’ll need to hone his abilities to avoid being susceptible to double moves. He won’t be able to recover against the league’s faster receivers if he gets beaten initially.
Overall: Fuller is a perfect fit for the Bengals. He brings some height to the secondary, and is a great leaper as well. He also brings toughness and attitude. The Bengals love their players to contribute in multiple ways, and he can do that. Fans will love his passion as well. If Fuller makes it to pick 24, which is debatable at this point, he could, and maybe should, be the pick. He might be the best cornerback in this year’s class.