Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images
Could Fulton be the answer at cornerback for the Colts?
A popular series from last draft cycle is returning yet again at Stampede Blue. Last offseason, I interviewed over 40 prospects that could eventually be fits for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a result, we were able to find out a lot about two Colts who went on to eventually be drafted by the team in Marvell Tell III and Khari Willis. This year I hope to interview even more prospects so you all can get an inside look at these player’s accomplishments and mindsets going into this next draft.
Our next prospect interview is LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton. Fulton is a top corner in this class who told me and Justin Melo of the Draft Wire that he met with the Colts already via FaceTime. We had a great conversation about his Championship pedigree, his plan of attack against Henry Ruggs III, and the best receiver he faced in college.
5’11” 197 pounds
40 Time: 4.46 sec / Vertical Jump: 35.5 inch / Broad Jump: 123 inch
38 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 14 pass deflections, and 1 interception.
Fit with the Colts:
The Colts have put a lot of work into the cornerback room this offseason by cutting Pierre Desir and adding free agents Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie. They still could use another promising young player alongside Rock Ya-Sin though. Fulton is an NFL ready corner prospect who excels in both press man and cover two zone, the two coverages the Colts play most frequently. Fulton would be an immediate player to start and could be a good addition to an already solid cornerback room.
Late Round 1/Early Round 2
Kristian Fulton vs Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III (@PFF_College)
3 pass breakups
Fulton is easily a top 15 pick. pic.twitter.com/sofpodBZt1
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) March 30, 2020
One of #LSU CB #1 Kristian Fulton’s greatest strengths is his click-and-close. It’s on full display here as he makes an aggressive PBU on what should’ve been a simple completion. pic.twitter.com/Qz59dpx1vo
— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) September 8, 2019
Kristian Fulton @Kriss1_ is one of the top Corners in this years Draft class. This my favourite play I watched on him. Their in man coverage, and Fulton does a great job keeping his eyes on the Quarterback, falls off his man, jumps the underneath route and gets the Interception pic.twitter.com/srJMS9WmM8
— Anthony Pupo (@anthonypupo_94) February 22, 2020
ZH: To start off, you are coming off a great season where you all won a National Championship. How was this overall season for you and how was it ending your college career with a championship?
KF: Oh man, it was fun. Just experiencing this entire year and the type of team that we had, it was special. It wasn’t just special individually, but just getting that team accomplishment was amazing. Coming to LSU, I knew we would always win a National Championship and it was just a matter of time. All in all, it was a fun season and is one I won’t ever forget.
ZH: I’ve asked this question to both Stephen Sullivan and Damien Lewis already this offseason so I want to ask you as well. Do you think this LSU team is the greatest team in college football history?
KF: Definitely, I think so. Obviously the greatest offense and I have no doubt about it, nobody could stop that offense. I also feel like, as a defense, that we picked it up towards the end of the season. Even throughout the season I felt like the defense stepped up whenever we needed to and got big stops. I feel like, all around, this was a great team and the way that we won by beating seven top ten teams makes us the best.
ZH: Going to LSU as a whole, they have pumped out great NFL talent over the last few years in the secondary from guys like Tyrann Mathieu to Tre White. How does LSU prepare so many guys for the NFL so well?
KF: They really just mold our individual skills. They want us to develop as players and they help us make our technique outstanding. That is what we like to focus on in the meeting rooms. We break down ourselves individually and work on those skills in practice everyday whether that is in seven on seven, one on ones, or even in teams. That is just where we separate ourselves. We take building on our individual skills very seriously at LSU.
ZH: I interviewed former CB Antonio Cromartie the other day and we spoke a little bit about your film. One thing that stood out the most to us was how confident you play. How do you maintain such a high level of confidence regardless of who you are playing against?
KF: We just know what we have to do playing at LSU. We know each week that we are going to get our opponent’s best and they are going to try and put a showing on us. So a big focus for me is to never change my mindset whether I’m playing against an FCS team or a big time player or big school. I know every week people are gonna try to put up numbers and try to put up film on me so this is just how I prepare, honestly. I’m not trying to take anyone’s game for granted and everyone is going to try and beat me, so everybody is going to get the best from me.
ZH: One match-up that I think you were great in was against Henry Ruggs III and Alabama. What stood out was how you were pressing this elite speed receiver all game long. Why did you decide to get up on him and attack all game long?
KF: You just gotta know who you are playing against. Watching film, they played against a lot of teams that would play off and let him catch slants and take them sixty yards. That is not what we wanted to do. We weren’t gonna run with them and that is not the game we wanted to play with them. For me, I felt like if I got on him and got hands on him, then it would throw off the timing between him and the quarterback. That was kind of my goal to just keep him in front of me by getting my hands on him and that was my game plan against all those receivers.
ZH: Would you say that being in that press man type role is the best for you?
KF: Yeah I would say I got accustomed to it at LSU. In high school I was mostly playing zone so that is where I really got into it. That is where I feel like I can help because I had those four years in high school playing off, and those four years at LSU playing press, so I feel comfortable doing either/or. It really depends on where I end up, the receiver I’m going against, and the quarterback I’m facing.
ZH: Physicality and aggression is something we are seeing more and more in cornerbacks today. How important is it for you to be aggressive and physical as a corner?
KF: It is important like you said to come up and be a tone setter. You can’t be a liability out there because offenses are so good that they’ll go after you if you aren’t going to come up and tackle. Not a lot of receivers have that dog mentality and want to be physical anyway so as a corner it is something we have to show and practice it to set the tone.
ZH: You face a ton of top receivers this year but who would you say was the toughest receiver you faced this past year?
KF: I’d say the guy from Florida, Van Jefferson. I obviously played against a lot of top guys this past year but I’ll say him because he doesn’t get enough credit for the type of receiver he is in this class.
ZH: When you watch NFL players, which guys are you studying the most to add aspects to your game and continually improve?
KF: The guys that came through LSU. Tre White, Pat Pete, Tyrann Mathieu. Those guys like I said earlier, I feel like all have their own kind of game to them. I also try to watch Jalen Ramsey and Stephon Gilmore because I want to see the top guys and see how they are doing it week in and week out.
ZH: Final question for you. What is my team getting when they draft Kristian Fulton?
KF: Just a guy who is gonna come in and just get along with everybody. I’m gonna come in and establish myself in a leader role and be active in the secondary room. I’ll also be active in the community and give back to the people because that is very important to me. Then on the field you are just getting a competitor who is hard working and help establish a winning culture. I won a high school championship and a National Championship and I’m gonna come to the NFL and help spread that mindset the best I can.