Across the board, rookies in the NFL have a lot to get used to.
There are new teammates, new coaches, new playbooks and of course, living in a new city.
For Tennessee Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton, there is one more thing to add to the list: a new role, or balancing multiple different ones at the same time.
Drafted by the Titans in the second round of the NFL Draft in April, Fulton played at slot cornerback early on in his career at LSU, but later transitioned to the outside.
It is not yet clear what exactly Fulton’s role on the Tennessee defense will be this season, but head coach Mike Vrabel indicated during a video press conference on Monday that Fulton is getting reps at the slot position.
On Sunday, Fulton said transitioning back inside will require him to find his comfort level at the position again.
“That's really the main thing for me, just transitioning inside,” Fulton said. “... I feel like that's going to be the biggest transition for me. Not more so what they're doing, just finding that comfort for myself.”
No matter the role, though, Fulton will have an opportunity to make an impact for a secondary that finished last season 24th in the NFL against the pass with an average of 255 yards allowed per game and opponents completing 64.6 percent of their passes.
A two-year starter at LSU, Fulton took home second-team All SEC honors and graded out as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in 2019. In 28 career games (25 starts), he compiled 65 tackles, 25 passes defended and two interceptions.
In LSU’s National Championship triumph over Clemson in January, Fulton recorded a career-high six stops, plus one for a loss of yards.
During a video press conference in June, secondary coach Anthony Midget said Fulton fit exactly what the Titans were looking for in a cornerback. It didn’t take long for them to discover that, either.
“One thing we noticed just sitting down meeting with him at the Combine and times I got to meet with him, he was very smart, very articulate, understood the entire back end, a guy that can play inside and outside,” Midget said. “He provides versatility, and he’s come in here every day in the meetings that we’ve had with him, he’s come prepared.
“He’s put in the time, he’s studying on his own, and he’s a very, very smart football player. We’re excited to have him.”
As Fulton continues to get acclimated to his life in the NFL amid an ongoing pandemic, he will take things as they come.
Inside or outside at corner, Fulton explained that substantial progress every day is what matters most at the moment.
“It’s a day-by-day process,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been doing all right in walk throughs and things like that. You know what to do, but once things get in front you, everything speeds up. I feel like I’m definitely making progress each day, talking to the older guys just to see what I can do better or what I can get better at.”