Xavier Fulton, OT/OG, Illinois

Scouting Reports of centers, guards, and offensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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Xavier Fulton, OT/OG, Illinois

Postby Pudge » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:14 pm

Xavier Fulton
6-4/302 Illinois
5.04 Senior

Pros: Has nice feet and shows some potential to play out on the edge. Is good in space and does a nice job pulling. A capable cut blocker that also shows capability as a drive blocker.

Cons: Has poor technique in pass protection. Is too much of a waist bender. Doesn't get good depth on his drops and has poor base. Makes him susceptible to bull rush and has trouble with inside moves. Also has trouble with speed rushers. Doesn't initiate contact. Lacks strength, undersized, and doesn't give you much pop off the snap in the ground game.

Overview: He's an effective zone blocking tackle, but he doesn't have ideal tackle size or athleticism. He could play tackle in some schemes, but is a better fit at guard in most others. Came to Illinois as a defensive end, but a torn ACL in 2005 forced him to miss all of the following year. When he came back in 2007, he was the team's starting left tackle, protecting Juice Williams blindside. Had issues this past year with a dislocated that caused him to be limited in two games. Had surgery on the shoulder in March, and not sure when he'll be back.

NFL Forecast: He could work as a tackle in a zone blocking scheme like the one Alex Gibbs employs in Houston, but probably that's about it where he's capable enough to be a starter. And he would need a lot of work on his technique, and probably wouldn't be able to contribute until two or more years down the road with good coaching. Instead, I think he'll fit better as a guard for some teams. Move him inside, and most of his issues in pass protection will go away. He'll just need to add strength. He has starting potential, but probably only as a guard.

ATL Forecast: Fulton could work as a guard for the Falcons, able to potentially push Harvey Dahl for the starting job. But it's doubtful he would do that this year, instead getting a "redshirt" to adjust to his new position. If he showed enough progress in practice through that first year, he'd have a shot to compete for the job in 2010. But more than likely, it would take him a few years to hit the field, and I'm not sure he'd really be an upgrade over Dahl if/when he did. Has potential to be a solid run blocker, but doesn't have Dahl's strength and mean streak, although probably a better athlete. Might be stuck being a utility backup in Atlanta working as a backup at both guard and tackle.

Value: Fulton should potentially go as high as the fourth round, but I'd probably wait until the fifth round because how limited he would be as a starter on the outside and that he may take some time develop inside.
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