One of the top cornerbacks in the upcoming draft class has decided not to play in the Senior Bowl. LSU CB Kristian Fulton made the decision to withdrawal from and not participate this week in Mobile, citing being banged up from playing 15 games; his last being January 13th in the national championship, as the reason for not playing. So, with the former LSU Tiger not in Mobile, how does this decision affect Kristian Fulton’s Senior Bowl Draft Stock?
While it’s unfortunate that Fulton will not be playing, at least selfishly for draft analysts, the decision is very understandable from Fulton’s perspective. Fulton has already established himself near the top of the charts among the draft eligible cornerbacks. Arguably, the only cornerback higher than Fulton is Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah.
Fulton has the potential to hear his name called in the top-15, possibly even in the top-10. He likely feels he doesn’t have too much more to prove on the field as he is already established as an excellent shutdown cornerback who helped lead a dominant LSU secondary. Fulton likely just wants to recover his body in preparation for the Scouting Combine at the end of February.
Fulton totaled 56 tackles in 24 games over three seasons with the Tigers. He only had two interceptions but that was due to how little he was actually targeted because of how well he was covering other receivers.
One potential destination for Fulton could be the Carolina Panthers. James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell are both free agents and Donte Jackson struggled in his second season in Carolina. Depending on what the Panthers do with those three, more so the first two, could dictate how much Fulton will be in play with the seventh pick.
Another option, a wild card team who just so happens to be down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and holds the third pick, is the Detroit Lions. Okudah may be the more probable selection among cornerbacks for the Lions. However, if we’ve learned anything about the draft, it’s to never say never. Anything is possible when it comes to April’s event and that includes Fulton being the first cornerback selected, ahead of Okudah. The Lions obviously need help at the position, who has an unhappy Darius Slay on the roster. They’ll weigh all their options at number three.
Fulton likely didn’t have too much to gain this week, although the receivers in Mobile are very good. That being said, Fulton probably knows deep down where he stands in the draft. He likely doesn’t want to risk some sort of injury or fatigue during the week. He just wants to put together as best of a combine performance as he can to just about assure himself of a top-10 selection.