Kristian Fulton Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Runs the route
Can play off-man coverage
Can play press-man coverage
Can play zone coverage
Can line up outside
Able to move inside to the slot
Capable of flipping his hips and running
Able to compete quickly
Speed to run vertically - 4.46-second 40
Can get too physical downfield
Can improve at defending 50-50 passes
Could use more discipline
Suspended for the 2017 season
Summary: You can make an easy argument as to which school is truly "DB U" between LSU and Florida, and this draft analyst would also say Ohio State and Alabama belong in the discussion. The bottom line, however, is all of those universities have consistently produced some excellent defensive back talent for the pro game. LSU will carry its tradition into the 2020 NFL Draft with safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton.
Fulton was one of the top recruits in the nation coming out of high school in 2016. He served as a backup as a freshman before being suspended for the 2017 season by the NCAA after using another player's urine for a drug test. Fulton returned to the field in 2018 with a solid performance, recording 17 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and seven passes broken up on the year.
Fulton had an up-and-down 2019 season, and team sources say Fulton was playing on a bad ankle all year. He had some ugly tape early in the season, especially his performance against Texas. After his rough start, Fulton played better in the middle of the schedule, but he was picked on and abused by Clemson in the National Championship. Fulton totaled 32 tackles with 13 passes defensed and an interception in 2019.
For the NFL, Fulton projects as a starting cornerback who could contribute with significant playing time in his rookie season. He has quality instincts in coverage and versatility for the next level. He can play off-man coverage, press-man, zone, outside, or inside at the slot. In 2019, Fulton showed the ability to run the route and prevent separation. He has quality feet with fluid athleticism to stay with receivers. Along with his skill set, Fulton challenges receivers and closes quickly.
Fulton does a good job of running with receivers and preventing separation, but he needs to improve his discipline and also could stand to do a better job of defending the ball on 50-50 plays - see the Texas game, where he gave up a touchdown and committed pass interference. Fulton can get too physical downfield with grabbing and fighting that could draw painful pass interference penalties in the NFL. Using his size and speed to run with wideouts rather than hand fighting and riding them downfield will be a point of emphasis for Fulton as a pro, along with improving his ability to handle those 50-50 jump balls.
Two directors of college scouting told WalterFootball.com they have Fulton in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, while another source said they had him right on the edge between the first and second rounds. Some team sources feel Fulton is one of the most overrated prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft, as he has gotten a fair amount of first-round hype. From speaking with teams, the consensus projection was Fulton is to most likely get picked in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Morris Claiborne. After a slow start, Claiborne turned into a capable NFL cornerback. Claiborne (5-11, 192) and Fulton are almost identical in size and have a similar style of play.