Predraft Visit: 'Scout's Accident'

Washington State's John Fullington has plenty of experience and versatility to offer as late-round draft pick. Packer Report talked to him in our latest exclusive.

Washington State offensive lineman John Fullington knows the drill.

"In the NFL, they usually only travel seven or eight offensive linemen," he told Packer Report last week. "Most of those guys who aren't starting have to be able to play different positions. I think that's a positive that I have."

Fullington, who had a predraft visit with the Green Bay Packers, might as well be named "Mr. Versatility." As a senior, he started the first five games at right guard and the final eight games at right tackle. As a junior, he started the first two games at left tackle and the final 10 games at left guard.

Where does he project in the NFL?

"I don't know," he said. "I've been working on everything. I played all the positions except for center in college, and I've been working on my snapping getting ready for the draft. I think I'll be able to play anywhere. Wherever they have me, I'll give it my best."

Fullington's junior season was a disappointment. He wouldn't use it as an excuse, but he had a hard time acclimating himself to new coach Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense. Under the Leach scheme, which he ran with dizzying success at Texas Tech, there's almost no pretense of being balanced. It's pass, pass and pass some more. The offensive linemen play the entire game in a two-point stance. Rather than kick-sliding, as linemen usually do in pass protection, Leach had his linemen align with huge gaps between the blockers to create one-on-one matchups.

Despite starting for the previous two-and-a-half seasons, Fullington had to win his job heading into his senior season.

"I didn't have my best junior season, for whatever reason. But that's behind me and I think I've grown stronger from it," he said. "My senior year, I think it all started to come together — the schemes and getting into a totally different system than anything I'd ever done. It took some time to get used to it and I was kind of in a rut. I definitely bounced back."

Fullington kept his spot in the starting lineup and won the Mike Utley Award as the team's best offensive lineman. He concluded his career with 43 consecutive starts.

"I'm not really a prideful guy but, yeah, it's good," he said of the streak. "It shows that I don't get injured and I play through stuff and I'm tough enough to play at the next level."

Fullington didn't win any all-conference recognition but has come on strong during the lead-up to the draft.

"Fullington is what I call a scout's accident," NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas said. "With all the time I spent watching (star safety Deone) Bucannon, Fullington kept grabbing my attention. He is not fast, but oh so smooth moving laterally, looking like Logan Mankins with his hands up and ready to fire. A former track weight man with both OT and OG experience, he's a third-day guy, but you see the low pads, the footwork and strong anchor in this kid, making me continue with the Mankins similarities. If my left tackle goes down, I have no problem sliding him out, as I know he has the retreat skills to seal the edge."

Fullington's only visit was to Green Bay. He liked the small-town feel of the city and that "football is king." Whether it's Green Bay or some other team, Fullington can't wait to hear his phone ring on Saturday night.

"It'll be awesome," he said. "Whether it's getting drafted or free agency, it's just going to be awesome to figure out where I'm going to be and chase after my dream. It's going to be unbelievable. Can't wait to get it started and figure out what's going to happen with the next stage of my life. It's going to be intense and suspenseful, and I can't wait for it."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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