Las Vegas Raiders 2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Kristian Fulton
Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders need help at cornerback, and Kristian Fulton is one of the best this class has to offer.
The way it currently sits, the Las Vegas Raiders will enter the NFL Draft without an established cornerback opposite of last year’s rookie, Trayvon Mullen. Here’s a draft profile on LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton, who could be among those targeted come draft day.
Competitive toughness: Fulton plays with top-notch physicality, staying in the hip pocket of his opposition with regularity. He’s isn’t afraid to get his hands on opposing wide receivers close to the line of scrimmage, centering himself in an excellent position to win the battle. His relentless attack to fight through contact and stay within reach of his opponent is one trait that exhibits his competitiveness.
Man coverage ability: Throughout Fulton’s time in the college ranks, he displayed an adequate ability to play man coverage on an island. His sticky coverage ability allows other counterparts in the secondary such as safety, to play in a more natural position rather than gravitating towards a double-team. Defensive backs who can handle wide receivers on their own alleviate additional pressure for the defensive unit, and Fulton does just that.
Fluidity: He’s silky smooth with effortless mobility. Fulton’s footwork and ability to adjust on the fly is exactly what you want in press corners. He presents loose hips in getting out of his stance, allowing himself to follow the trajectory of his man.
Physical build: Fulton displays enough length to play on the outside, but his lower half physical build raises some questions with durability. He played 15 games last season, so injuries weren’t an issue in 2019, but as he starts to see bigger pass-catchers, Fulton may need to thicken his body structure to reflect the physical blows and hand fighting of NFL receivers.
Tackling: Sufficient tackling is a problem with Fulton, but it doesn’t occur from an unwillingness to pursuit ball-carries. His tackling miscues are solely made up of poor technique as numerous times, he allows ball-carriers to break through his shoe-string tackles.
Reactionary skills: Fulton doesn’t classify as a real ball hawk because he gravitates towards disrupting the receiver’s path to the ball versus going up to catch it himself. Fortunately, for Fulton’s case, his coverage is on par, so this hasn’t affected him to give up to many long balls.