It was a light load of draft picks this year for Virginia Tech. Receiver Corey Fuller and offensive tackle Vinston Painter were the only two selected in the seven-round draft, although several have latched on with teams as undrafted free agents.
Those players, so far, include receiver Marcus Davis (Giants), linebacker Bruce Taylor (Bengals), offensive tackle Nick Becton (Chargers), defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins (Steelers) and outside linebacker Alonzo Tweedy (Giants).
But this post is about the two that got drafted, since those are the only ones NFL teams comment about on their websites this time of year. Let’s take a look at what they’re saying about Fuller and Painter.
FULLER: The Lions were in the market for a receiver who could stretch the field to open things up for Calvin Johnson. Fuller, who has a track background and ran a 4.43-second time in the 40-yard dash at the combine, certainly could fill that role.
While the Lions have plenty of slot-type receivers, including Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles and Mike Thomas, they were looking for more outside receivers, especially given the February release of Titus Young (although I seem to remember Fuller work out of the slot quite a bit last year with the Hokies).
“He’s got great size, great speed. He’s got a lot of upside,” Detroit GM Martin Mayhew told the Lions’ website. “I really want to see what this kid can do on special teams, but he made some big plays in the passing game. We’re talking about getting bigger and faster, he’s another guy in that same vein.”
Lions coach Jim Schwartz called Fuller a “developmental” player, since he really only had one productive year in college and didn’t play football continuously once he left high school.
Here’s a conference call Fuller had with Lions beat writers after being drafted.
PAINTER: Denver is pretty set at its offensive tackle positions, with Pro Bowler Ryan Clady on the left side, Orlando Franklin on the right and Chris Clark capable of backing up on both sides. The Broncos apparently could take a look at the 6-foot-4, 30-6-pound Painter at guard as well.
For what it’s worth, Painter says he’s most comfortable at right tackle, where he started last year.
Not playing right away might not be the worst thing for Painter, who only started one year in college and still is — here’s that word again — a developmental guy. (Honestly, that’s what you’re drafting in the sixth round, though.)
“He’s a hard-working, physical tackle,” Denver Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway tweeted. “We like his potential.”
Elway expounded on that tweet in a press conference later: “Here’s a guy where we were looking for a swing tackle and he kind of fell to us. He’s a guy that has played defensive line. He’s very young when it comes down to offensive line because he was a defensive lineman, I believe, for the first two years in college. He is really just coming into his own on the offensive side. He’s a big guy 6’6”, 309 [pounds]. I think he’s 16-percent body fat and is a guy we want leading us off the bus because he’s a good-looking guy. I think when you look at the youth and the upside that he has because of the fact that he’s only been on the offensive side for a couple of years so we were happy with that.”
Here’s a link to evaluations of Painter from a few scouting services.