The Detroit Lions held two picks in both the sixth and seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. These extra picks allowed the team to draft needs and also gamble with some players. While I criticized the drafting of Ziggy Ansah due to it being a high risk/high reward pick, the Lions could take chances on players later on in the draft.
Corey Fuller, a wide receiver from Virginia Tech, was one of those gambles the Lions took. In the sixth round with the 171st pick, the Lions took their first wide receiver. The team needs extra options at this position that includes arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL in Calvin Johnson. Injuries to Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson left the Lions with few options other than Johnson for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The team was expected to add a wide receiver in the draft, especially after the release of former Lions draft pick Titus Young. Fuller will compete to become the fourth receiver on the Lions’ squad. At Virginia Tech, Fuller had a great 2012 season. He caught 43 passes for 815 yards and six touchdowns. Fuller’s breakout was against the best team in the ACC, Florida State. Against the Seminoles, Fuller caught seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Fuller also saw his draft stock rise with a strong performance in the East-West Shrine Game. Fuller caught two passes for 29 yards in the game. Fuller was open many times in the game, but the quarterbacks were sacked and couldn’t get the ball out of their hands.
Prior to playing football at Virginia Tech, Fuller was a track star at Kansas University. Fuller was the runner up in the Kansas Relays and Drake Relays in the triple jump. Fuller was an All-American in high school in track. The newest Lions receiver also played quarterback in high school.
I’m a little surprised the Lions waited until the sixth round to take a receiver. After all, the team has liked to gamble and draft receivers early, which is a strategy that has not worked out well. Personally, I like the depth of the receiver position if everyone can stay healthy. Along with Johnson, Burleson and Broyles, the Lions have Kris Durham and Mike Thomas competing for time. With a healthy squad, Fuller will have a hard time seeing the field. After all, if the Lions were serious about getting help at receiver, wouldn’t they have taken one before a punter?