When the Texans selected Will Fuller V V, there was consternation across the draft community. Now, this was not unusual, but the noise was a little loud, considering how productive Fuller had been at Notre Dame.
I'll keep my vitriol at a minimum, for now, because it was only one game, but given how convinced the draftniks were that Fuller was not the right pick for the Texans, I chuckled a bit when he kept making plays in his first game as a pro. After the game, I researched each and every rookie wide receiver that played on Sunday in week one throughout the league. There were nine that I could find that played and registered a stat, not counting Fuller.
Those nine averaged 2.6 receptions, 35.7 yards and 0.2 touchdowns.
Fuller had five receptions, 107 yards and one touchdown.
Furthermore, take the three other receivers taken in the first round - Corey Coleman (Browns), Laquon Treadwell (Vikings) and Josh Doctson (Redskins). They COMBINED for three receptions, 76 yards and no touchdowns.
One other thing that actually hit me as I was doing my radio show on Wednesday night. I was recapping this research and I was about to make my point that the two rookie receivers that had the most receptions and most yards were both in the AFC South - Tajae Sharpe (Titans - seven catches) and Fuller (107 yards). Then, I realized that those two had the smallest hands of all the receivers at the Combine and that was a huge liability, according to many in the draft community. It's one thing I hate about the draft and I railed against it at the time because both made a ton of plays and a ton of excellent catches in their careers. That bore itself out last Sunday at this level.
No matter what happens from this point forward, there's no debating that Fuller's debut was far and above any other rookie pass catcher to start this season.