How will the Tennessee Titans replace Kristian Fulton?

Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

After a month of football, the biggest lesson that Tennessee Titans fans have learned is that training camp is a liar.

The perfect example of this is Kristian Fulton.

Everyone on the roster had a down season in 2022, but Kristian Fulton's downward spiral was one of the worst developments for the Tennessee Titans. Between staying injured, bad performances, and disparaging comments from Mike Vrabel, Fulton was almost guaranteed to be on his way out no matter what happened this season.

However, during training camp, Fulton was fantastic and was drawing rave reviews from players and coaches alike. There were dozens of clips of him staying in the hip pocket of DeAndre Hopkins and we have seen just how good Hopkins can be, so something must have been working for Fulton.

Then the season started and the clock struck midnight. Fulton has been decimated in coverage this season on every level of the field. Whatever Fulton has shown in the past is irrelevant at this point because he continues to be a weak link on a shockingly average defense, and Mike Vrabel has had enough.

In his post-game press conference, Vrabel admitted that he thought about benching Fulton at certain points in the loss against the Indianapolis Colts. He doubled down on those comments by saying that Fulton needs to figure it out fast because the Titans have confidence in the guys behind him on the depth chart.

If the Tennessee Titans decided to make a switch at the position, what are their options?

Two schools of thought for the Tennessee Titans at cornerback

Just like with offensive linemen, there are two ways that you can try to replace a cornerback. You can either promote someone on the bench or you can move a starter to a different role.

The first option means that the other two cornerbacks can still do exactly what they have been doing up to this point. The two candidates that stand out are Tre Avery who replaced Fulton for the L.A. Chargers game, and Kindle Vildor who stepped in for Fulton when he got hurt in the New Orleans Saints.

Neither was overly impressive, but I would like to see Vildor get his chance. If he gets the start against the Baltimore Ravens this week, you can stack that full game up against what you saw from Tre Avery in his full game against the Chargers.

The other option means moving pieces around that would almost certainly mean moving Elijah Molden from his dime role, back into the slot and then moving Roger McCreary from the slot to the boundary where he played last season.

For now, the best option seems to be elevating a backup corner and not turning one problem into two problems by moving defensive backs around. There is an advantage in knowing where opposing offenses will try to attack, and a smart defensive coaching staff could make that work.