The Denver Broncos have not employed a fullback for a while. The last time a fullback graced their roster in the regular season was back 2012 when both Jacob Hester and Chris Gronkowski donned the orange and blue.
Hester stuck around until the very end of the 2013 preseason, before he was released at the final roster cut-downs to 53 players. In the Adam Gase and Peyton Manning offense, there wasn’t much need for one. When the team needed a lead blocker, they’d plug a tight end back there.
But with Gary Kubiak coms a new offensive system—one based on the zone blocking scheme, which features a more committed approach in the run game, which allows the passing game to make gains via play-action and bootlegs.
In such a scheme, the Broncos will need a true fullback. Kubiak prefers players who can not only pave the way for his ball-carrier, but also one with soft hands and an ability to catch the ball.
Jerome Felton might be that guy.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos are indeed interested in Felton, who spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Fulton lead-blocked for 2012 league MVP Adrian Peterson, and brings a successful track record to the table.
At 28 years old, Felton is entering his eighth season, after coming to the NFL as a 2008 fifth round pick of the Detroit Lions, out of Furman. Felton played in 175 snaps for the Vikings in 2014 and earned a +3.7 cumulative grade via Pro Football Focus, ranking him as the No. 7 fullback in the NFL.
Felton is Scout.com’s No. 1 free agent fullback. Other options beyond him include Henry Hynoski, Will Johnson and John Connor (aka the Terminator). As a pass-catcher, Felton has limited experience, with only 43 career receptions on 62 targets. Playing with Peyton Manning, that aspect of his game will need polishing.
If Felton ends up in Denver, C.J. Anderson will be smiling big, especially if the Broncos get Felton and tight end Virgil Green back. The NFL free agency market officially opens at 2pm EST tomorrow, March 10th.
Felton has signed with the Buffalo Bills.
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