The New Orleans Saints are expected to have some heated competition over the next several weeks for their #5 WR spot, but as the team put on pads for the very 1st time in practice at Training Camp a short while ago; there was one young man who stood out on the field in front of a “packed house” at the Airline Drive Practice Facility: WR Corey Fuller.
A 6th round draft pick out of Virginia Tech in the 2013 NFL Draft (171st overall) by Detroit, Fuller joined the Saints late last season after being sidelined for the majority of last season with the Lions from a foot injury.
The 27-year old Fuller spent the first two months of the 2016 season on the Lions Reserve/PUP list, before he was formally released and then re-signed to the Lions practice squad for a month until the Saints offered him a contract in late December of 2016.
Fuller’s experience that he gained in 3 years spent with the Lions in Detroit was on full display during the opening round of Saints OTA’s and then again in Mini-Camp last month, but today was a completely different story.
Corey Fuller has been balling. Just blazed past D. Harris on a 9. #Saints
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) July 29, 2017
For a lack of a better term: Fuller “stole the show”.
Brees to another new Saints receiver Corey Fuller pic.twitter.com/EWf8eCjkgR
— Amos Morale III (@Amos_MoraleIII) July 29, 2017
Fuller made not one but TWO nice catches were he beat CB’s Delvin Breaux and De’Vante Harris in one-on-one coverage, and then topped it off with another long reception that would have gone for a TD during live team drills.
In all, it was a spectacular day of work for Fuller, who while it’s only the 3rd practice of Camp, seems to have the slight early lead for the team’s #5 WR spot over rookie and former LSU WR Travin Dural — who also had a good practice though it wasn’t nearly as impressive as Fuller’s performance was.
Fuller and Dural seem to have both slightly emerged from a group of players competing for the #5 WR spot that include 2nd year UDFA’s Jake Lampman, Jordan Williams-Lambert, and of course Tommylee Lewis; who was the team’s #5 WR last season.
Before joining the Saints, Fuller has appeared in 18 games with two starts over the first three years of his NFL career; posting 288 yards and one touchdown (against the Saints ironically in 2014) on 16 receptions and five special teams tackles.
But now the 4th year veteran has the distinct advantage of NFL experience, plus having played alongside All-Pro QB Matt Stafford as part of the potent Detroit Lions offensive passing attack hasn’t hurt him either.
One other thing to remember: Fuller had Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi as his offensive coordinator with Detroit; and it’s very possible that they may have used some similar terminology in their offensive scheme as the Saints; which no doubt would have helped him gain a slight edge at the moment over the other WR’s in contention.
In any case, that edge appears to have served him very well as he tries to make the Saints Final 53-man roster; and if today was any indication: the Saints and Drew Brees might have yet ANOTHER weapon for their Top 5-ranked offense — with the start of the 2017 NFL regular season just 6 weeks away.
— Gus Kattengell (@Gkatt_17) July 29, 2017
If that ends up being the case, then you can also bet the Saints will be hoping that Fuller can once again “steal the show” when his catches actually count for something, in the upcoming months ahead……