November 28, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Will Fuller (7) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Stanford Cardinal during the first half at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, the most overrated and underrated prospect will prove that not every athlete will live up to their hype or could very well end up being a hidden gem. Don’t let the media fool you.
Every year during the pre-draft process, there is constant debate about prospect ratings and where prospects should be drafted. And with that, comes constant grading that to me makes no sense. In this particular article, I will be analyzing the prospects in this year’s draft that I believe is the most overrated by the national media and the prospect that is the most underrated by the national media.
Every year there is a prospect who is drafted way too early and we wonder what we saw in him and a prospect that NFL general managers all look back and say, “how did we pass this guy up?”. So without further ado, here is who very well could end up being the most overrated and underrated prospect come draft day.
Next: An overrated speedy receiver with butterfingers
Most Overrated: Wide receiver Will Fuller (Notre Dame)
Strengths: Speed, playmaking ability, run after the catch
Weaknesses: Hands, run blocking, size
NFL Comparison: Ted Ginn
Analysis: There is no doubt that Will Fuller can be a contributor in the NFL. His skill set is chock full of things you just can’t coach. He had 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons and averaged 20 yards per catch. He has game changing speed and is as explosive as any receiver when he has the ball in his hands. The problem is getting the ball in his hands.
He relies on his body, not his hands to make catches and his speed not his route running to get open. According to Pro Football Focus, Fuller had a drop rate of 13.9% in 2015, ranking as one of the worst in the country. He also stands at 6’0” and 185 lbs which will make it tough to get open when getting pressed by Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman.
His small stature also makes him a liability on run plays. Draft analysts have rated him as a first-round talent and Fuller has drawn comparisons to DeSean Jackson. To me, I see him as a Ted Ginn type player. He could be a game changer in special teams and on deep routes but don’t expect him to be a No. 1 receiver down the road.
Where should he be drafted: He’s not worth a first round pick. I’d take him mid to late 2nd round.
Next: An underrated big linebacker oozing potential
Most Underrated: Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell (Utah State)
Strengths: Tackling, athleticism, potential
Weaknesses: Raw, ACL injury history, play strength
NFL Comparison: Clay Matthews
Analysis: Kyler Fackrell from Utah State is one of many underrated outside linebackers in the draft, but he has all the tools. His sack numbers don’t do him justice (only four sacks in 2015). He had 82 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 2015 and all this while he would drop back in coverage more often than not.
Fackrell has great size at 6’5” and 245 lbs and is a natural athlete (he was a quarterback and wide receiver in high school). He finishes plays as well as about any linebacker in this draft using his great length and good fundamentals. He also has shown he’s very capable in coverage.
He has a raw skill set in terms of his pass rushing ability and needs to get stronger, but he has shown tons of potential and with the right coach (Todd Bowles, perhaps?), can be molded into a very scary presence off the edge that can also double as a very good cover linebacker. Reminds me a bit of Clay Matthews.
Where should he be drafted: He’s not quite a first round choice but early to mid 2nd round is where I have him graded.