Fullback Among Cardinals 2010 Draft Plans?

Draft prospect Rashawn Jackson is a punishing fullback, and is athletic enough to be a factor running and catching the ball as well. The former University of Virginia standout figures to be a mid-round pick in this year's draft. AZRedReport.com confirmed Jackson interviewed with the Cardinals at the Senior Bowl. So would Jackson be a good fit in Arizona? Andy Bishop tackles the question.

For nearly all of the 2009 season the Cardinals employed only one fullback on the active roster, 10-year veteran Dan Kreider. Using so many multiple receiver sets early in the season, Kreider was left with few opportunities. The Cardinals offense was a microcosm of what seems to be the way of the NFL, in which the fullback's role is diminished.

But as the Cardinals found their running game later in the season, they went to more conventional two-receiver sets, and Kreider saw more time. And as Matt Leinart—far from being dependable at this point—is thrust into the starting role, Arizona will be focused on strengthening its running attack. So the fullback position in Arizona can't be taken for granted at this point.

Rashawn Jackson
AP
So do the Cardinals need to worry about the fullback position in this April's draft? With only one experienced player in Kreider, the answer has to be yes.

A player that has to jump out at Arizona's management is the University of Virginia's Rashawn Jackson. The versatile Jackson is what many call a tweener. He is big enough and strong enough to lead running backs through holes, and is also capable of spot duty at the running back position.

During his senior season, Jackson rushed 96 times for 461 yards, and caught 25 passes for 222 yards. Although Jackson would bring far less experience than Krieder, he would be a much more athletic option with the chance to produce.

"My situation is different than a lot of other fullbacks," Jackson said. "At UVA, as my career went on, I had more and more opportunities to catch and run the ball."

But Jackson knows he isn't a true running back, and that his first priority in the NFL will be attacking linebackers that are much faster and stronger than what the ACC offers.

"On the next level, I expect to be running into brick walls," Jackson said. "And you know what, I'm going to knock it down. I have the mentality that if I don't, somebody else will, so I need to go in there and not have a worry in the world."

Scout.com draft analyst, Chris Steuber, projects Jackson going in the fourth round. This may be too early for Arizona to think about taking a fullback, as they have bigger needs. But it's a position that has to be considered at some point, and Jackson seems to be a excellent option.
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