2017 NFL Draft Preview: Fullback Rankings
Although some see the position as extinct, a few fullbacks will land on rosters come training camp time. We are seeing fullbacks take on numerous roles, whether as specialty running backs or receivers. Like the previous rankings, below is a list of all the potential lead blockers that may land on NFL rosters this summer. This class has a few intriguing prospects that should hear their name called. Overall, this is a strong fullback class and there are numerous players that should last in the league. Note: these players are ranked based on what I feel is the earliest they could be drafted.
- Sam Rogers, Virginia Tech, 5-10, 231 lbs., Senior (also plays RB): Rogers has the versatility NFL teams crave in their fullback and this trait will remind many scouts of Marcel Reese. Rogers really sets himself apart as a receiver with great route running ability. Even though he shines in the passing game, Rogers struggles as a blocker. Rogers often ends up missing the target on the second level or getting dominated on the first level.
- Freddie Stevenson, Florida St., 6-0, 234 lbs., Senior (also plays RB): Arguably the best pure fullback in this class, Stevenson is a jack of all trades providing consistent play in every facet of his game. With that said, there were few opportunities for Stevenson in the Seminole passing game, which has resulted in him looking uncomfortable when asked to run routes. The possible reason he was forced to take a seat in the passing game during his college career was his lack of sure hands.
- Emmanuel Holder, Towson, 5-11, 266 lbs., Redshirt Senior: Holder is the prototypical fullback with an extremely physical playing style. He dominates as a lead blocker, consistently winning battles at every defensive level. A man of his size is not going to be “lights out” in space and this is noticeable when he is asked to lead on the outside. This issue is due to his lack of change of direction skills, which makes it difficult for him to square up and ultimately affects his ability to win with power.
- Nate Iese, UCLA, 6-3, 252 lbs., Redshirt Senior (also plays RB): When mentioning threats in the passing game, Iese’s name should pop up. He was a successful tight end while in college, catching 25 passes for 400 yards and finding the end zone four times. Iese is also athletic enough to take snaps as a running back with his decent mixture of size and speed. He is not the best blocker and lacks the size preferred in a lead blocker.
Undrafted Free Agents
- Dakota Ball, Alabama, 6-2, 271 lbs., Redshirt Senior
- Anthony Firkser, Harvard, 6-2, 246 lbs., Senior
- Prescott Line, Michigan St., 5-11, 246 lbs., Redshirt Senior
- Michael Zunica, Kansas, 5-11, 237 lbs., Senior