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We continue our preseason rankings of draft eligible players by position. Today we cover the fullbacks.
I know some of you are wondering why bother ranking fullbacks. I’m an old school guy and I still like to see the fullback involved with the offense. Would Emmitt Smith have set the NFL rushing record if not for Moose Johnston? I doubt it. A fullback can also be a good outlet receiver since the defense doesn’t usually bother to cover them and they can be a core player for your special teams. Most NFL team’s base offense has either two tight ends or three wide receivers, but there are still situations where you need a lead blocker. What most teams look for in a fullback is someone that can do multiple things to help the team win and our five guys fit that description. With that being said, here are my rankings.
1. Zach Line – SMU: I almost hesitate to list Line in this category. He’s not the traditional lead blocker looking to blow up a defender. Line has rushed for 2,718 yards in the last two seasons for the Mustangs. They like to spread the defense out with 4 wide receivers then pound them with Line. He is more nimble than he looks and I actually see him as more of a running back at the next level, along the lines of Peyton Hillis or Mike Alstott.
2. Zach Boren – Ohio State: Boren is more of the traditional fullback. Boren loves to find defenders and put them on their back. Before Urban Meyer arrived, the Buckeyes loved to run behind Boren and let him clear the way. It will be interesting to see what his role will be in the new offense.
3. Willie Carter – Tulsa: Willie Carter is a versatile player that lines up in a variety of spots. He can line up in the backfield, go in motion, or line up in the slot. He led the team with 61 catches last year. He is more of an H-Back than a pure fullback, but with his hands, he can make a big impact on the offense.
4. Taimi Tutogi – Arizona: Tutogi is a 260 lb beast! He has played in a variety of spots for the Wildcats. He has lined up as an H-Back, tight end, fullback and even tailback. As a blocking back, he’s like having a guard in the backfield. When he does get the football in his hands, he runs like he’s mad. It may be fun to see how Rich Rodriguez uses this guy in his option offense.
5. Trey Millard – Oklahoma: Millard is a two year starter that was named 1st team All Big-12 in 2011. Like the other guys on this list, he is used in a variety of ways. The Sooners like to run him in short yardage situations. When the Sooners were thin at running back, he even got some action as the tailback.
by Dwayne Wilton