When Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was asked about second-year receiver
"He's really improved since we've had him," Mayhew said. "I think another year in the off-season program is really going to benefit him quite a bit. So I'm looking forward to seeing him."
The Lions drafted Fuller in the sixth round last year knowing he would take some time to develop.
He ran track in college and really had only a year-and-a-half of football under his belt at Virginia Tech before being selected 171st overall.
He is 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, however, and possesses sub-4.4 speed.
Mayhew said the Lions were on the lookout for players that can run and make plays down the field and Fuller does offer a unique skill set with his size and speed in that regard.
He had an opportunity to display those traits in front of Mayhew and the coaching staff during this weekend’s rookie minicamp. Fuller was able to participate because he hasn’t accrued any pension credits from being on the Lions practice squad all last season.
“It’s big because of the fact that they get some extra reps in,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Fuller’s participation this weekend. “He was on the practice squad, obviously, a year ago and did have an opportunity to come in and still work and try to improve his craft.
“Because the system is new, it kind of gives him a little bit of a head start in that regard. He was able to grind through it on the weekend and did a nice job. He was also able to kind of pave the way for some of the guys that had not. He’s been doing it for five weeks now, I guess, so he’s a good bell cow for us. He set the stage for us in that regard, but he was absolutely outstanding.”
Fuller is a year older and says the biggest thing he learned from last year was how to be a professional.
“I’m more experienced now,” he said Sunday. “I can play a little bit faster instead of lining up and thinking what my route is and what my assignment is. I can just line up and play fast.”
Fuller will be competing for one of the last receiver spots on the 53-man roster this season and says he has extra motivation to make the team beyond the financial ramifications and having a job.
The Chicago Bears drafted Fuller’s brother, Kyle, a cornerback, last week.
“I think that is my motivation,” Fuller said. “The only way I’ll be able to see Kyle twice a year is if I’m on the 53 and I want to see him twice a year.”