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How Zach Fulton Fits with the Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee offensive lineman Zach Fulton (72) blocks Western Kentucky defensive lineman Bryan Shorter (94)during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Brett GeringCorrespondent IMay 10, 2014

On Day 1, the Kansas City Chiefs entered Radio City Music Hall desperately needing to upgrade their offensive line, particularly at guard.

They finally did so in Round 6. 

Zach Fulton is a mountainous right guard who, physically speaking, has the infrastructure to become a solid starter at the professional level, but the process isn't going to unfold overnight. 

Standing 6'5", 316 pounds, Fulton presents an imposing frame that's more reminiscent of a tackle, and his build is reflective of his "large and in charge" mentality.

Unsurprisingly, he excels in the running game, showcasing hints of explosiveness following the snap. 

That, in turn, normally affords him the upper hand against competition, which often results in Fulton getting beneath his opponent's pads, gaining leverage and angling them away from the ball-carrier. 

However, at times, his punching opens the door for defenders to use the rookie's momentum against him, as Fulton occasionally fails to maintain a secure connection with his target.

That being said, if he latches both paws onto foes, then they're bound to find themselves retreating against their will. Fulton is never satisfied with simply winning the initial battle; he keeps his feet churning and drives through defenders until a whistle pierces the action. 

If he aspires to start on Sundays, the rookie will need to polish his footwork and general fundamentals in pass protection.

While Fulton will effectively pull around tackle every now and again, if he hopes to get in Andy Reid's good graces, he'll have to become more efficient at clamping onto second-level defenders in the screen game. 

Analyzing the guard's abilities, NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki opines:

BOTTOM LINE Physically impressive, moldable right guard prospect with a good soldier's attitude to go along with untapped physical ability, though his tape falls short of his intangibles at this stage of his development. Could be a pet project for an offensive line coach confident he can turn Fulton into an effective mauler.

The colossal guard will enter offseason training as somewhat of a project—the jobs of Jeff Allen and Rishaw Johnson probably aren't in any imminent danger.

But if Fulton becomes more technically sound, he can slowly but surely progress into a staple at right guard (his natural position).

If that hypothetical comes to fruition, the only thing bigger than Fulton will be his upside. 

 

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