NAME: Kristian Fulton
WEIGHT: 200 pounds
In today’s Chiefs draft prospect profile, we will look into one of the top cornerbacks in this year’s class. Or, so we thought. Recent rumors have this player falling a little bit in the NFL Draft. Is it real or all smoke? Either way, Kansas City would probably pounce at the chance to add this LSU defensive back. Now, let’s get things started with our breakdown of Kristian Fulton.
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In man coverage, Fulton is fairly sticky. Not near as much as others in the class, but you cannot deny that he can be tight and snug. Fulton’s ability to work quick and smoothly in transitions is one of his stronger attributes. Quick cuts to the inside or on comeback routes have given him trouble. However, Fulton closes down on routes well. His mirroring skills are a treat to watch.
In zone coverage, he is very capable of covering the deep third of the field. Deeper routes is where Fulton seems to excel against here. Quicker, twitchier skill players can have their way with him after the catch, if they have plenty of room in which to work with. I believe his ability to close and read the quarterback’s eyes can help to soften the blow there. Fulton can also become too grabby at the catch point. Though overall, his ability to work to the football is what you like to see on the outside.
We mentioned his strength and success when transitioning. Furthermore, Fulton presents a nice blend of footwork, flexibility and clean, loose hips. When he sinks his hips and gets vertical, there is some added explosion that some may not anticipate. Fulton uses discipline and balance at the line of scrimmage when playing press. Very rarely, does he get caught to where he takes a false step. The word to use here is clean. Fulton’s footwork is one of the best in the cornerback class.
Usually, you look for cornerbacks to get their head around consistently, in order to attack the football. Fulton was coached slightly different while at LSU. To his credit, his reactionary skills are constant throughout the course of the game. Reading and attacking the hands of the receiver, while keeping his back to the football is not an easy thing to do. Fulton not only has the tantalizing instincts on the field. But, he also uses plus length and body control to create ball production. If you look at his numbers in college, the penalties may be higher than teams would like. His aggression and timing have not waivered because of that, however.
To start, Fulton is generally comfortable with very little signs of panic. Opponents can have their way with him at times. Nonetheless, Fulton comes right back and is smart to know that teams are trying to use the same plan against him multiple times. This leads to gradual improvement during the course of the game. You love to see his patience and body control. And then, Fulton turns it up a notch and brings out the physical nature in his game. Receivers have to remain poised to outmatch his confidence.
Fulton continues to get his hat to the football. To boot, he is a fairly willing tackler. The results are varied. Is he going to lay the boom or make every tackle? Not necessarily. Yet, Fulton has the length and physicality to make up for a lean frame. The technique is the biggest question. If teams can develop him quickly there, he will be just fine out in space.
Kristian Fulton projects as one of the better cover players in this class. The draft stock questions remain a mystery. In Kansas City, he would with the amount of freedom that defensive backs are given. Fulton is fully capable of covering larger chunks of the field. In addition, I believe there is multiple ways to use him in coverage. He has shown the ability to have success in press man coverage or in off man coverage. Zone coverage may not be perfect, but his ability to hunt receivers and the football will not be denied.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs offseason coverage. Included, will be our last few draft prospect profiles in the leadup to next week’s NFL selections. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.