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Mike Mayock rates Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller as his No. 1 corner

As far as NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is concerned, Virginia Tech standout Kyle Fuller stands apart among the cornerbacks heading into the NFL draft.

He now has the Mount. St. Joseph graduate and Woodlawn native rated as his top cornerback ahead of Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.

"Kyle Fuller is one of my favorite players in the whole draft," Mayock said during a Thursday conference call. "What's interesting about the corners is that mos t of the personnel guys have
[Ohio State corner Bradley] Roby and Gilbert as their highest rated corners just because they have better movement skills.

"Most of the coaches like Fuller and Dennard because they're better football players today. You know what you're getting. Fuller is my No. 1 corner, first- round corner. He has it in his DNA. He can play on, off, he can play man or zone."

Fuller, who has accepted an invitation to attend the NFL draft in New York City at Radio City Music Hall, visited several teams. That includes the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders. He has conducted private workouts for the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers.

Fuller overcame a sports hernia surgery suffered during his final season for the Hokies and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at the NFL scouting combine where he also had a 38.5-inch vertical leap, a 10-8 broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds a dozen times.

He was a second-team Walter Camp All-American selection and a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick last year.

Fuller is poised to become the third Fuller brother to be drafted into the NFL, following wide receiver Corey Fuller (Detroit Lions, sixth round last year) and Vincent Fuller (Tennessee Titans, fourth round of 2005 NFL draft). The youngest Fuller brother, Kendall Fuller, was a freshman All-American last season for Virginia Tech who intercepted six passes.

"Obviously Kyle got hurt midseason, but he has put together a nice career at Virginia Tech," Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said during a predraft press conference this week. "He’s a competitive player with excellent speed and athleticism, and he comes from a very good football family. They have altogether had a lot of success, and there is one more down there. I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops as a pro."

awilson@baltsun.com

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