Draft Positional Analysis Fullbacks
February 10th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
It's rather unlikely that the 49ers will go after a fullback in this years draft. Even if Fred Beasley does leave as a free agent, the team loves Terry Jackson, and feels Paul Smith is a great prospect too. Then again the 49ers are the same team that found William Floyd, Marc Edwards and Fred Beasley in such a close time period. The 49ers historically like to draft fullbacks, so there may be a later round pick saved on the team for this area.
Top Ten Fullbacks
Jarrod Baxter heads up this years draft class because of his speed and lead blocking skills. He's not an elusive runner, but can move the pule and runs downhill. Baxter does need to improve his blitz pickup and hands to be a great fullback in the NFL. Will benefit greatly from a good coaching staff.
Jamar Martin is not the fullback you want handling the ball but you do want him out front blocking for your running back. A big fullback who can pancake defenders and open big holes. Will be one of the better blocking fullbacks in the years to come. Should be a good project for whatever team that drafts him and will benefit greatly from the right offensive scheme.
Najeh Davenport is a good sized fullbacks and has good speed for his size too. Formerly a running back, he carries the ball well and has good vision. Unfortunately he's not the greatest blocker, and gets lost inside, so he may struggle initially in the NFL. Is very nimble at high speeds on his feet and can make a defender look silly. Has a poor medical history and that will hurt his chances as being a top pick in the draft. Still a good prospect with a large upside.
Charles Stackhouse is a surprisingly good receiver for a fullback. He knows how to work through traffic and is a punishing blocker. He is probably the most well rounded fullback in this years group, but is the type of player where what you see is what you get. He runs well and has good instincts, would fit well into a west coast offensive system, but needs to improve his speed off the ball. A natural player at this position.
Chad Kuhns is a great blocker and can come up with some big plays catching the ball. Love's contact and is a good pass blocker. Kuhns is a little small and could use a little more strength to compete against defensive ends in the NFL. Has very good fundamentals, is well coached and has a great work ethic.
William McCray always knows where he needs to be on the field. He has good hands and is a good athlete but has been fighting injuries throughout college. He isn't that big, but is a pretty good blocker, and can release well to bail out a QB under pressure. Needs to get stronger in the NFL.
William Bartholomew is a strong fullback with good size. He comes from a good Tennessee program. Useful in blocking situations can carry the ball ok, but needs to improve in the receiving department. He can change direction very quickly but will need some good coaching to become a legitimate NFL player.
Kyle Johnson is a leader on the field and has good fundamentals. He runs hard, has good hands and is a pretty good lead blocker. Can recognize defenses quite well. Not the most durable of players and needs to work on some of the footwork despite having good fundamentals. Will have to prove he belongs in the NFL, but should be able to.
Jarrett Ferguson is a quick fullback with good vision who doesn'thave ideal NFL size. Has a vast knowledge of football and is a good special teams performer. Could be a situational player out of the backfield, and needs to get better at fighting through initial contact. Is a project worth trying if a team needs a third down back.
Casey Moore is a good sized fullback that blocks well, and has good upper body strength. Not as good a short yardage runner as you'd expect from someone his size. He is however, an intelligent ball player who plays special teams well. He could develop into something and is worth the look in the later part of the draft.
Fullback is rarely a hot position in the draft, and this season doesn't seem to be much different. The bulk of these prospects are 'value' picks where they may be the best player on the board coming into the third round or so. Most still need some work and are projects that will benefit from the higher level of coaching in the NFL. Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum