Although Virginia Tech defensive back Kendall Fuller was picked later than most draft analysts projected, the former Good Counsel standout was elated when the Washington Redskins selected the Baltimore native in the third round with the 84th overall pick.
Fuller, who was a projected second round pick in most mock drafts, slipped to the third round because of a torn meniscus that cut his junior season at Virginia Tech short.
Despite the wait, Fuller can’t complain too much because he gets to play in his home state of Maryland and not far from his high school alma mater.
“I’m definitely excited to be with this team,” said Fuller, the 2012 All-Sentinel Player of the Year. “Being around the area for so long, it’s definitely a blessing.”
Fuller will become the fourth member of his immediate family to play in the National Football League, joining brothers Vincent, Corey and Kyle.
Vincent, who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2005, also played for the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots during his NFL stint that ended in 2011. Corey, a wide receiver, was selected by the Lions in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft and Kyle, a cornerback, was a Chicago Bears first round selection in 2014. All four brothers played college football at Virginia Tech.
“Watching them, learning from their paths, learning from their experiences definitely shaped me,” said Fuller.
Because of the injury, the Good Counsel graduate has already been ruled out of rookie minicamp this month but Redskins head coach Jay Gruden expects Fuller to be healed in time for training camp this summer.
Most teams passed on Fuller due to the injury but the Redskins knew they were getting a quality player.
“He’s too talented of a player to pass up,” said Gruden. “He can play nickel obviously. There’s a big hope for him. He can play outside. He’s got great, natural football instincts at the nickel or corner position. Obviously he’s got great bloodlines. I think it’s a great pick.”
Fuller said his parents, Vincent and Nina, set the foundation and he followed the example set by his older brothers.
“They knew I was watching, so they knew that they had to carry themselves right,” said Fuller, “because they didn’t want me to follow their footsteps if they were doing the wrong thing but it was definitely fun growing up in that household.”
Meanwhile, Fuller’s former Good Counsel teammate, Blake Countess, was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round with the 196th overall pick.
Countess began his college career at Michigan but transferred to Auburn for his final season of eligibility. He finished the 2015 campaign with 70 tackles, 11 pass break-ups and two interceptions and was named Auburn’s most valuable defensive player.
Notes: Purdue defensive lineman and Good Counsel graduate Ryan Watson signed an undrafted rookie free agent deal with the Detroit Lions. Michigan State linebacker Darien Harris, a Silver Spring native, signed an undrafted rookie free agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals while Baylor offensive lineman Jarell Broxton, a Quince Orchard graduate, signed an undrafted rookie free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens.