NFL Draft: Scouting the Fullbacks

As usual it is slim pickins at the fullback position. Possibly no more than three fullbacks will be drafted and there is only a single true lead blocker available. Here are the scouting reports on the top twelve fullbacks.

Full Name: Lawrence Vickers School: Colorado Pos: FB

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 245 40: 4.86 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Second-team All-Conference selection who posted 73/258/9 on the ground, and 26/152/2 as a pass catcher. Junior rushing totals included 63/252/2 with receiving numbers of 28/290.

Pos: Aggressive triple-threat fullback offering a variety of skills. Quick off the snap, displays good vision and plays with solid pad level. Jolts opponents at the point and is aggressive in all aspects. Effective ball-handler who breaks tackles, picking up yardage off initial contact. Contorts to the errant throw as a pass-catcher, making the reception away from his frame.

Neg: Has marginal blocking strength and struggles removing linebackers.

Analysis: A team player and leader on the field, Vickers is an offensive threat who would thrive in a West Coast system. Should also be a solid special-teams player.

Full Name: David Kirtman School: USC Pos: FB

Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 233 40: 4.76 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a senior and was awarded All-Conference honors. Totaled 19/220/1 catching the ball.

Pos: Hard-working lead blocker with solid hands. Has terrific blocking vision, gets a pad on defenders and disrupts their angle of attack. Solid position blocker who walls defenders from the action. Aggressive, stays with assignments and works to finish. Reliable receiver who makes the difficult catch.

Neg: Not explosive off the snap, lacks speed around the corner and does not finish blocks.

Analysis: After moving into the starting spot, Kirtman did a solid job for one of the nation's most explosive offenses. May never be a dominant lead blocker yet does enough things well enough to be a No. 2 player at his position.

Full Name: Gilbert Harris School: Arizona Pos: FB

Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 235 40: 4.74 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Second on the team in rushing as a senior posting 79/284/5 and 22/107/2 as a receiver. Junior totals included 67/285/2 on the ground.

Pos: Nice-sized lead blocker with abilities handling the ball. Tough on the inside, lays his shoulders into defenders and drives up the field on initial contact. Plays to his 40 time and has a burst of speed. Creates space for ball carriers around tackle and is strong at the point. Shuffles his feet in pass protection.

Neg: Lacks soft hands as a receiver. Must work harder to finish blocks. Does not always play with a sense of urgency.

Analysis: Flashing skill as both a lead blocker and ball carrier, Harris has the ability to play in the NFL yet must consistently play to a high level.

Full Name: Quadtrine Hill School: Miami-Fl Pos: FB

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 220 40: 4.55 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Used in a starting capacity the past four seasons. Senior totals on the ground included 19/138 with 25/216/1 as a pass catcher.

Pos: Undersized yet athletic fullback who also excels on special teams. Blocks with good pad level, picks up assignments and seals defenders from the action. Solid receiver who extends to make the reception away from his frame. Runs with an aggressive and displays a burst of speed.

Neg: Must improve his blocking intensity and barely gets in the way with assignments.

Analysis: Lacking the size and strength to be a true lead blocker, Hill's pass-catching abilities will get him consideration on a West Coast offense.

Full Name: Matt Bernstein School: Wisconsin Pos: FB

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 260 40: 4.95 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter who played in five games last season, finishing with 6/22/1 rushing after suffering a sports hernia midway through his senior season. Junior totals included 83/300/1 on the ground.

Pos: Big, bruising lead blocker who also is effective as a short-yardage runner. Powerful and opens holes for the running game. Quickly picks up blocking assignments and plays with an aggressive attitude.

Neg: Overall game lacks quickness, speed and agility.

Analysis: A hard-working lead blocker, Bernstein offered late-round potential prior to his injury. Medical exams prior to the draft will dictate his future at the next level.

Full Name: Naufahu Tahi School: BYU Pos: FB

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 254 40: 4.91 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who posted 97/497/6 carrying the ball last season, also adding 41/375/2 as a receiver. Junior totals included 93/339/5 carrying the ball.

Pos: Productive, triple-threat fullback with the versatility to fill several roles in the NFL. Powerful runner with an aggressive style. Slides off tackles and gets through the small creases of the defense. Plays faster then his forty-time. Terrific pass-catcher who makes the reception with his hands. Attacks blocking assignments, quickly gets out to the second level and squares into defenders.

Neg: Primarily a ball handler rather than lead blocker. Over-aged and originally entered BYU in 1999 before going on a church mission.

Analysis: Quite possibly one of the most underrated fullbacks in the draft, Tahi is efficient in all areas of the game. Could be very effective in a West Coast offense.

Full Name: J.D. Runnels School: Oklahoma Pos: FB

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 237 40: 4.65 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors after his sophomore and senior campaigns. Receiving numbers last season included 20/215/1 after 14/133/1 the prior year.

Pos: Athletic lead blocker with pass-catching skills. Aggressive, jolts defenders at the point then knocks them backwards. Gets around the corner and seals running lanes opening for ball carriers. Slips out of the backfield and quickly becomes the hot receiver in blitz situations.

Neg: Does not play with great balance and rarely finishes blocks. Struggled at times last year. Almost never asked to carry the ball.

Analysis: Falling under the radar screen, Runnels has the size, speed and skill to play at the next level. Worth consideration in the late rounds.

Full Name: Nicholas Hartigan School: Brown Pos: FB

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 225 40: 4.75 Year: 4Sr

Bio: All-Ivy League Player the past three seasons, leading Brown in rushing each year. Posted 314/1,727/20 as a senior. Junior totals included 323/1,263/17 on the ground.

Pos: Hard-running, north/south ball carrier with potential as a feature back or lead blocker. Runs with excellent vision, patience and strength. Drives up the field and aggressively puts his shoulders into defenders. Breaks tackles, carries defenders for extra yardage and does not go down without a fight. Aggressive blocker who gives good effort and gets results. Solid receiver out of the backfield.

Neg: Overall running lacks quickness, speed, and cannot run to daylight.

Analysis: Very productive on a small-school level, Hartigan is a punishing yet intelligent prospect with the tools necessary for the next level. Could fit a variety of roles and should get serious consideration late in the draft.

Full Name: Victor Mann School: Kansas State Pos: FB

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 269 40: 4.93 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who posted 19/107/2 on the ground, adding 11/138/1 as a pass-catcher as a senior.

Pos: Traditional lead-blocker with an aggressive style. Has excellent blocking vision, stays with assignments and opens holes for the running game. Anchors in pass protection and does not give up an inch of room.

Neg: Displays minimal quickness and speed in his game. Lacks adjustment and is only effective between the tackles.

Analysis: An outgoing hard worker, Mann offers marginal potential for the next level yet would be a nice fit for a power-running offense in need of a bruising lead blocker.

Full Name: Jason Davis School: Illinois Pos: FB

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 225 40: 4.67 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Two-year starter who carried the ball 15 times for 34 yards last year with 11/162/1 as a pass-catcher. Career-best receiving numbers of 31/340/2 came as a junior.

Pos: Athletic fullback who can be an offensive threat. Carries the ball with a punishing style and falls forward when tackled. Solid receiver out of the backfield. Patient pass-protector who stays square and anchors at the point.

Neg: Mentally hesitant picking up blocking assignments. Does not do the little things well and needs to be prodded.

Analysis: Flashing skill, Davis has potential in a West Coast system where his versatility and athleticism can be maximized.

Complete Full Back Rankings - Complete NFL Draft Rankings

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