Kristian Fulton 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Kristian Fulton Overview
Position:
Cornerback
Height: 6’-0″
Weight: 197 lbs
School: LSU Tigers

Kristian Fulton 2020 NFL Draft Profile

The SEC has turned into a conference that is highlighted by highly explosive offenses. It takes a special defense to slow down the consistency of a high-power passing attack. Teams with great recruiting like the LSU Tigers have been benefitted from great defensive players that have made notable impacts. Kristian Fulton has been one of the most impactful cornerbacks for the LSU Tigers in the last two seasons. He did not start his career well by playing only two games as a freshman in the 2016 season and then was he was suspended for the entire 2017 season. He was suspended due to tampering with his performance-enhancing drug test in February of 2017. In his junior season, Fulton played in seven games and accounted for 16 total tackles and six pass breakups.

This past season as a senior, Fulton played and started in all 15 games for the Tigers. In those games, Fulton accumulated 38 total tackles, 28 solo tackles, 14 pass breakups, and one interception. Fulton played in three games (at Texas, at Mississippi State, and against Texas A&M) where he accumulated three pass breakups. In the CFB Playoff National Championship win over the Clemson Tigers, Fulton accounted for six total tackles, one tackle for loss, and one pass breakup. Before the season, Fulton was regarded as the top cornerback prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. Throughout the season, Fulton showed NFL scouts and coaches the full evaluation of his game. While this did drop his NFL Draft stock to a lower level, he displayed the traits he has to work on at the next level. He is still one of the most special corners in this draft class.

Strengths

  • An incredible athlete with fast feet;
  • Has the ability to mirror the wide receiver through much of the play;
  • Has great flexibility to turn his body outside or inside;
  • Reads the receiver’s eyes and hands to time the ball for a pass breakup;
  • Good length of arms to efficiently break up the ball;
  • Has the acceleration to chase down speedy receivers;
  • Backpedals well for him to read and react the receivers’ route;
  • Breakdown well in defending the run game;
  • Great in recognition in zone coverages.

Weaknesses

  • Does lose track of his receivers whenever they go inside on a route;
  • Possess good but not great speed;
  • Not strong enough to consistently break up the pass in the receivers’ hands;
  • Tackles the running back awkwardly;
  • Tends to run with his emotions;
  • Leans too much and relies on the upper part of his body;
  • Doesn’t use his hands in press coverage often;
  • Lacks urgency to make the pursuit angles;
  • Needs to get better at the contact.

Comparisons: Morris Claiborne

Teams with position needs: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: Late first

Bottom Line on Kristian Fulton

Fulton is one of the best overall coverage cornerbacks in this NFL Draft class due to his unique athleticism and instincts. He is a player that covers very efficiently in man coverage and zone coverages. His versatility in the passing game will be a huge addition to an NFL defense. His ability to match his opposing wide receiver with his hips and change-of-direction abilities could make one of the most elite corners in the league. He is, however, a slight liability as a defender against the run. Tackling will be an area that can be an easy fix when learning with defense at the next level.

Fulton could go early as #16 to the Atlanta Falcons, who desperately need talent at the corner. The Philadelphia Eagles at #21 are a team that has the biggest need at cornerback. There is any pick from 16 to 32 that would be able to draft Fulton for their position need. Fulton has the potential to be a day-one starter for his new NFL team but he will need a team to patiently utilize him. Part of the inconsistencies he suffered at LSU his last year was the whole defense in general. Look for him to have Pro-Bowl caliber impact in his first year in the NFL.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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