We live in interesting times.
With the nationwide pre-draft process canceled and team facilities shuttered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NFL decision-makers are resorting to unprecedented measures to interview the blue-chippers from this year’s class.
The Dallas Cowboys, for example, are scheduled to “meet” LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton via FaceTime, SB Nation draft analyst Justin M. reported Tuesday. Fulton has similar “visits” planned with the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts.
For good reason, too, as he’s widely considered among the best (albeit raw) incoming corners. A three-year contributor for the Tigers, Fulton tallied 42 solo tackles, 20 pass breakups, and two interceptions across 24 games. He put himself on the national map in 2019 by notching career highs in PBUs (14) and tackles (28), earning second-team All-SEC honors on top of a National Championship.
Standing 6-foot and weighing 197 pounds with 30 5/8-inch arms, Fulton impressed onlookers at February’s Scouting Combine, where he clocked a 4.46 forty-time and 35.5-inch vertical jump.
NFL.com draft expert Lance Zierlein, whose scouting profile can be found below, compares Fulton to the Colts’ 2017 second-round choice, Quincy Wilson.
Press-man cornerback whose 40 percent rate of completion as an LSU Tiger may not tell the entire story as an NFL prospect. Fulton has good size and is usually searching to make plays on the football. He plays with decent eye balance in off-coverage but can be a tad late with response time. Once he gets behind he tends to stay behind against multi-breaking routes and his long speed and recovery burst are below average. Fulton showed improvement throughout the year, but his confidence has been an issue at times. When the pros and cons are balanced, he appears to be a good backup with a chance to work up the ladder.
Fulton is the second CB prospect the Cowboys have expressed interest in this offseason. They arranged a similar meeting with Florida’s CJ Henderson, though it’s unclear as of this writing if the remote pow-wow has taken place.
Seeking reinforcements for a secondary that lost starters Byron Jones and Jeff Heath in free agency, Dallas has also been linked to LSU safety Grant Delpit and Alabama S Xavier McKinney.
All of Fulton, Henderson, Delpit and McKinney could be on the board when the Cowboys go on the clock at No. 17 overall.
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Potential Fit in Dallas
If drafted at No. 17, Fulton should compete for a starting job opposite Chidobe Awuzie and slot man Jourdan Lewis. He’d round out a CB corps that features free-agent addition Maurice Canady and veteran Anthony Brown, who recently signed a new three-year contract.
The Cowboys are placing an emphasis on a back end that ranked tenth in pass defense last season, having surrendered 223.5 yards per game. The club has since imported a pair of new secondary coaches, Maurice Linguist and Al Harris, the replacements for former passing game coordinator Kris Richard, who was let go by new head coach Mike McCarthy.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL