Background: In 2015, Fulton was the No. 1 overall recruit in Louisiana. During his senior season, he led Archbishop Rummel (LA) to a state championship. In front of a crowd of just over 25,000 people, which were all packed into the Mercedes Benz Superdome, many were there to see Fulton play, but the outcome didn’t go in his teams favor. The program suffered a devastating 31-28 loss to Catholic High School in the Division I 5A State Championship game. Also a star in track and field, Fulton competed in the 110-meter (14.73) and 300-meter hurdles (39.46).
A highly touted recruit coming into Baton Rouge, he received unrealistic expectations from outsiders entering “DBU”. His career got off to a rocky start having only played in three games as a true freshman in a reserved role due to a fractured right ring finger. Much of the same came in 2017, but not in a way that anyone expected.
During the fall of 2016, Fulton was randomly selected as part of the NCAA’s mandate for drug tests. After reportedly using someone else’s sample for the test, the LSU cornerback was suspended for 19 months. On August 23 (2018), Fulton was officially reinstated by the NCAA, but the hiatus caused him to miss all of his sophomore season.
With an uproar upon his return for the former top ranked in-state recruit, the expectations were once again sky-high. Following the teams Week 10 game against Arkansas, Fulton suffered an injury to his left foot. The injury resulted in season-ending surgery that required a screw to be placed in his foot. He finished his first season as a full-time starter with 25 tackles and one interception. Returning as a senior, he had a breakout season – recording 38 tackles, a team-leading 14 pass breakups, and one interception.
Scheme Fit: Man
Round Projection: Mid-Late 1st-Round
Patient Pedal/Hip Flexibility: When playing close to the line of scrimmage, Fulton mixes up his techniques. There are times where he will attempt to get hands on, while there are others where he will remain patient while mirroring wideouts. When not attempting to land his hands, he remains patient and cautious while in his backpedal. Displaying good posture and balance while receivers are revealing their initial route plans. When faced with multi-directional patterns, the LSU corner shows to have more than adequate hip mobility in order to quickly react to movements from the opposition. Even when guessing wrong on routes or double moves, he’s shown to have the makeup speed and flexibility in order to recover from his wrongdoings.
Confidence: Knowing that he has over top type of abilities, he also has the confidence to match. Fulton doesn’t back down from any other player across from him and that’s evident with the talent that he faced weekly in the SEC. Playing mostly left cornerback and assigned to the field, he was tasked with some of the nations best throughout his career.
Calculated Hands: When running down the field while in coverage, he’s able to close air space and prevent separation by knowing when to use his hands to close open leeway. Whenever wideouts cut swiftly in certain directions, his timely hands are able to slightly grab them in order to catch back up. Hardly ever noticeable and it’s a trait that he has nearly perfected without catching the eye of the officials.
Ball Tracking: Throughout his career, Fulton has struggled mightily with finding the ball while it is in flight. Mixing up his approach with face guarding or playing the hands of the receiver has hindered his success and development with turning his head around and finding the ball in the air. As a result, matchups have had constant success against him in tightly contested situations.
Opening the Gate Prematurely: His instincts, aggressiveness, and anticipation skills can get the best of him. When faster wideouts threaten him vertically, he immediately opts to turn and run. Positioning his body in a strictly up-the-field position creates new surfaces and space for targets to run underneath of him. Even though not targeted, some receivers had success performing this tactic against him in the red zone. When trying to recover, it often was too late or he’d stick his near hand out in attempts to slow them down.
Frame/Play Strength: Fulton has an impressively built upper half, but slight portions in his lower halves result in a habit of playing with too much forward lean. Having a heavy shoulders over toes pre-snap positioning results in him being susceptible to quick movers off of the line. He was often caught slipping following hard jab steps in an outward direction, which led to him falling victim to routes set up to attack back over his inside shoulder.
Because of so much turmoil during the earlier portions of his career, Kristian Fulton was a bit of a late bloomer, but he came into his own during the ladder portions while in Baton Rouge. Fulton is the prototypical press man corner in a heavy man-to-man scheme. He still has strides to make as far as playing the ball in the air and improving his play strength, but if he’s able to improve in those areas, he has the makings of being a high-end starter on the next level. Because of his upside and the tools that are already present, he will become a potential top-25 pick. All of Fulton’s flaw are correctable with proper coaching, but some patience must be shown in order to reap the benefits of what turns into the final product while his development continues its course.