"[A] dynamic deep threat, who has the uncanny ability to create separation late in his route, using an extra gear when the ball is in the air, a burst that most cornerbacks can't match."
And according to Pro Football Focus, during his final season at Notre Dame, Fuller ranked third in the nation with 708 yards on deep passes, which made up 56 percent of his total yardage. He also had fifth-highest catch rate on deep passes (at least 20 targets) at 58.6 percent.
The reason Fuller wasn't a top-10 pick? His hands.
He had a 13.9 drop rate in 2015 (that ranked 88th out of 96 wideouts) and a 12.6 percent drop rate the season before (which ranked 82nd). PFF compared him to Ted Ginn.
Fuller's hands didn't magically improve during his rookie season; he hauled in just 54 percent of the passes thrown in his direction, though some of that may have had to do with the people throwing him the ball: Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage. In 14 games, Fuller had 47 receptions for 635 yards (13.5 YPC) and two scores. According to Football Outsiders' metrics, he ranked 78th among all wideouts, behind Ginn, Victor Cruz and Kamar Aiken. Not exactly indicators of what was to come.
Then again, Fuller had yet to play with Deshaun Watson. And while it's too easy to say that Fuller's success rests solely with coach Bill O'Brien's decision to insert Watson into the starting lineup, it's hard to argue that there's a whole lot to it beyond that.
Fuller missed the three weeks of the season while recovering from a broken collarbone. In the four games since, he has just 13 catches but he's made the most of them, totaling 279 receiving yards (21.5 YPC) and a whopping seven touchdowns.
To put this in perspective, Fuller has at least one touchdown catch in every game, and on three occasions snagged two touchdowns, including Sunday's loss to the Seahawks where he had five catches for 125 yards. The first touchdown (his sixth of the season) came early in the first quarter when Fuller outran everybody downfield before Watson hit him in stride for a 59-yard score.
A quarter later and with the score tied 14-14, Fuller showed off the hands that were deemed suspect in the days and weeks leading up to the draft for touchdown No. 7 on the season:
Fuller didn't need to beat Sherman with his deep speed but instead created separation coming out of his break. By the time Sherman recovered, it was too late.
"[Fuller]'s a beast," teammate DeAndre Hopkins said, who had eight receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown, the most ever by a visiting player against Seattle. "How many of catches of his [are] touchdowns? Almost every one it seems like."
Close. Fuller scores a touchdown on every 1.8 receptions, a number that boggles the mind. So how did his previous five touchdowns play out? Let's take a look.
Touchdown No. 1: First-and-10, Titans 16-yard line, second quarter
Fuller lines up at the top of the formation, runs a crossing route against a zone look and he finds himself wide open in the corner of the end zone.
O'Brien breaks down the X's and O's of Fuller's touchdown here:
Touchdown No. 2: Third-and-goal, Titans 10-yard line, third quarter
Fuller is the beneficiary of a fantastic back-shoulder throw from Watson, but it's not an easy catch, even if it looks that way:
Touchdown No. 3: Fourth-and-goal, Chiefs 9-yard line, third quarter
The play was designed to go to Hopkins on the other side of the field but the Chiefs had that covered. Watson extends the play, moves to his right and finds a wide-open Fuller:
Touchdown No. 4: Second-and-6, Chiefs 48-yard line, fourth quarter
First: This play never, ever, ever happens with anyone but Watson under center. Osweiler, Savage, Yates, Weeden, Hoyer, Schaub -- even Rosencopter -- none of them are making this play.
Second, you forget just how good Fuller was on the play because you're mesmerized by Watson. He has Terrance Mitchell draped all over him and it doesn't matter.
If the first touchdown catch was your garden-variety red zone score, this 48-yard bomb was equal parts jaw-dropping athleticism from Watson and Fuller.
Touchdown No. 5: Second-and-goal, Browns 39-yard line, first quarter
In typical Browns' fashion, they chose not to cover the most explosive player on the field in what amounted to a 39-yard handoff from Watson to Fuller. Here's Fuller, with the ball just out of frame. Browns safety Jabrill Peppers seems surprised the Texans would target the wide-open receiver.
And here's the entire play:
We highlighted touchdowns No. 6 and No. 7 above.
To recap: Fuller is the same freakish athlete he was a season ago, but the two biggest differences are that he seems more focused in that he's catching passes he might have dropped before, and that he has the benefit of playing with one of the league's best young quarterbacks.; Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said as much after Sunday's game in which Watson threw for 402 yards and four touchdowns.
"'You played the best game any quarterback has ever played against us, and we've played all the legends. I respect how you hung in there and kept battling and battling,'" Sherman recounted to TheMMQB.com's Peter King hours after the game.
"My God, Houston's so lucky," Sherman continued. "By next year he's going to be a top-five quarterback in this league, and that includes the two big dogs [Brady and Rodgers]. He makes you dig to the deepest part of your competitive juices to beat him."
Meanwhile, Fuller has been a godsend for Hopkins, whom teams can no longer double-team all day.
"Will has been playing his butt off," Hopkins said Sunday, per ESPN. "And we've been seeing that during the offseason. ... Even before he got hurt, he was doing good things, improving on his hands and his routes and it's showed this season."
Watson added: "He's a playmaker. [He] finds ways to get open. He's a deep threat, he has a lot of speed and he's very, very smart, so he knows the feel of this offense and what we're looking for."
Even O'Brien sounded impressed.
"He's a great route-runner," O'Brien said, per the team's official website. "He's very smart. And he's very fast. He's really improved his hands. Him and Deshaun, and Deshaun and Hop, they just have a great connection. I just feel sick that we weren't able to win."
But the wins will come. It starts with Watson, but to have reliable downfield playmakers makes his job immeasurably easier.
In related news: The lowly Colts, who have one of the league's worst pass defenses, are coming to Houston on Sunday.