Wide receiver Devin Fuller has never seen an NFL field. Blessed with whip-crack speed, the 2016 seventh-round draft pick out of UCLA has endured consecutive season-ending injuries, leaving his Atlanta — and NFL — career in limbo. With the Falcons presumably cutting ties with kick returner and inopportune fair catch-enthusiast Andre Roberts this offseason, Atlanta has an opening on special teams. That’s good news for Devin Fuller.
To borrow a baseball adage: Speed doesn’t slump.
The Falcons don’t know what they have in Devin Fuller, but it’s glaringly obvious that an upgrade at the return spot is warranted. Somewhat surprisingly, Andre Roberts was top 10 in the league in return yards and third in yards per return attempt. The stats sheet seems to describe a different player than we saw, as Roberts appeared prone to miscues and poor decisions in his role as the Falcons’ returner in 2017.
Opinions abound as to who should inherit the position next season. There’s an enthusiastic contingent of the fanbase that would like to see Tevin Coleman receiving kicks. Justin Hardy once returned a punt 70 yards as a rookie in the preseason. Marvin Hall? Quick dude.
But forgotten Falcon Devin Fuller might factor into Atlanta’s equation this season in the kick return game. You can’t teach 4.3 speed, and if healthy, Fuller should be considered in the conversation for the Falcons’ kick return opening in 2018.
He was seemingly drafted to add a fresh dynamic to Atlanta’s special teams, but unfortunate preseason injuries have made him a missing man in the Falcons’ plans. Milk carton content. But heading into the new season, Devin Fuller and his return ability make him an intriguing and plausible prospect.