It’s time to take a look at the Lions 53 man roster. This 53 part series will analyze each Lions player in depth and compare some players on the roster bubble battle. We’ll start by analyzing the Lions 5th WR. This is a battle between two players in Corey Fuller and Jay Lee.
The Lions drafted Fuller in the 6th round of the 2013 draft out of Virginia Tech. Fuller has good speed running a 4.43 at the combine. He is 6’2 and 204 pounds with good vertical leaping ability.
Cap hit: Re-signed in 2016 as Exclusive Rights Free agent for 1 year $600,000.
Fuller is quite fast and can run away from defensive backs. Explosive out of his cuts, which aids him in getting separation. Fluid hips and good flexibility, which allows him to make smooth transitions up the field. Impressive in changing directions, can make people miss.
Doesn’t explode off the line, and takes a few strides to get up to full speed. Still raw in his technique, deliberate in his routes. Needs to do a better job of being more physical in his routes with his hands, and needs to prove he can handle the press. Also needs to prove he can track the football and come away with the contested catch. Lacks pop as a blocker, will get pushed backwards.
2014: 30 targets, 14 receptions for 212 yards and 15.1 YPC with 1 TD (long 52)
2015: 9 targets, 4 receptions for 76 yards and 19 YPC (long 48)
Corey Fuller must work on his route running and tracking of the ball but he has good speed and size. Fuller showed some promise in 2014 and drew some pass interference penalties deep. He has some special teams ability but the Lions still have some hope he can be a deep threat. He will battle with rookie Jay Lee, Corey Washington, veteran Andre Caldwell and rookie Quinshad Davis for the 5th WR spot.
Lee is an undrafted free agent in 2016 out of Baylor. Lee surprisingly went undrafted but had a mid-round grade in 2016. Lee is 6’1 and 214 pounds.
Cap hit: 3 years 1,620,000 contract signed in May 2016. His cap hit is 450,000 in 2016.
Has height/weight/speed combination that has NFL evaluators intrigued. Rare arm length (33 inches) for the position and uses it to his advantage. Has ability to reach throws that may fall just out of reach with some receivers and was able to adjust and snare an occasional low throw. Silky smooth in his movements with good footwork into and out of his breaks. Easy strider off the line of scrimmage and is able to chomp up cornerback cushion before they know what’s happening. Hits second gear and presents an open vertical target. Has ability to gain yards in space after the catch and is physical in his finish. Relied upon to be blocker in screen game and has ability to control his block on perimeter.
Ran limited number of routes in Baylor offense that looks to isolate defensive backs in space. Production might be skewed by scheme. Routes tend to be flat and rounded. Needs to prove he can win with separation underneath and with his in and out breaking routes. Inconsistent hands due to technique. Uses unorthodox hand placement and catches ball near his body leading to high drop rate. Wasn’t forced to deal with press coverage much in wide-open Big 12. Scouts question his confidence and whether he has swagger needed to reach his potential.
Rounds 4 or 5
Lee was a productive college player for Baylor in 2015 and 2016.
Lee has good size and speed similar to Fuller. He must work on his route running and improve his hands. Lee is signed long term unlike Fuller and if he can prove to be a deep threat could replace Fuller as the 5th WR.
Quotes around the league:
“Corey Fuller would be our number 1 WR”. I’m jealous Stafford has him. – Aaron Rodgers
“I am scared to face him. He used to torch me at home all the time.- Kyle Fuller
“I have to dial up some exotic blitzes. If Fuller gets the ball, he’ll score a touchdown and we’ll get swept by Detroit again.”- Dom Capers
We’ll take a look at potential 4th WR/special teamer TJ Jones in the next part of this 53 part series. Buckle up it will be a long journey.