Corey Fuller out to prove he’s not as 'raw' as Lions first thought

Posted May 11, 2013

The former track star is a developmental player, having played only two years at Virginia Tech, but he's shown that when given the opportunity, he can make plays

Corey FullerWR Corey Fuller (Photo: C. Wywrot/
After the team took the former Virginia Tech receiver, Corey Fuller, in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, general manager Martin Mayhew described Fuller this way:

"Corey Fuller is just raw but he's got great size, he's got great speed, he was a track guy who went to VA Tech to play football," Mayhew said. "He's got a lot of upsides. He made some big plays in the passing game for them. Again, we're talking about getting bigger and getting faster."

The former track star at Kansas transferred to Virginia Tech two years ago to pursue a football career. He is a developmental player in the sense that he hasn't played a lot of football, but when he's been given opportunities, he's proven he can make plays.

That goes for the first two days of rookie mini-camp, as well.

He made a number of catches down the field Friday.

Saturday, he showed more of his repertoire on the short and intermediate routes. He made a number of terrific catches within 10 and 15 yards of the line of scrimmage, including one on a comeback route with cornerback Lionel Smith draped all over him that got a few 'oohs' and 'aahs' from teammates.

"We liked the fact that he had size and had speed," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after practice Saturday. "He really only had one year of production at Virginia Tech, but he averaged I think 18 yards per catch last year. You saw that yesterday. He caught a couple deep balls.

"He's got a lot to work on. He doesn't have a lot of football background because he spent two years triple jumping and long jumping, but he certainly has a good skill set and he's a hard worker.

"He flashes just about everything that you need. He needs more consistency, like (all) these guys, but he can make a play. We've seen enough of that."

Fuller says he's working on the consistency part, but is also trying to show that there's more to his game than just speed and vertical routes.

"Stretching the field vertically, everyone knows I can do that," he said Saturday. "Everyone knows I have speed and can run vertical all day long.

"I just want to show them I can come out of my break on a curl route or whatever. I'm off to a good start, I think, and I just want to keep learning."

After serving as a backup in 2011, Fuller saw his playing time substantially increase as a senior last season. He recorded a team-high six touchdowns and finished second with 43 catches and 815 receiving yards (18.9 average).

"It is true, I haven't played much football, but then I don't think that I'm that raw," he said. "I'm just trying to show them everything I can do, as well as learn as much as I possibly can."

The Lions will look to play Fuller more on the outside to stretch the field opposite Calvin Johnson.

Fuller says he can certainly do that, but he's also eager to show that's not the only thing he can do.