Chargers visit with 'rare breed' of fullback

By now, the Chargers' primary needs are as obvious as Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent. Less obvious are the positions the team will target on day two. One spot may be fullback, given Lorenzo Neal's age (36) and the fact that Andrew Pinnock is really a halfback in a fullback's body. The Bolts met with an old-school lead blocker this offseason, one who could intrigue the team later in the draft.

During the Indy Combine, the Chargers conducted a private interview with Le'Ron McClain (6-foot, 265 lbs.), a punishing back from Alabama. McClain's four-year totals include 37 carries for 170 yards, 48 receptions for 405 yards and 10 total touchdowns. However, his biggest impacts were made without the ball in his hands.

"I take pride in my blocking and getting to the guy, you know, taking him on every play, wearing him down that first, second and third quarter. By the fourth quarter, they won't come anymore. Whoever makes contact first -- and I plan on doing that –- always wins the battle."

McClain is a compact player with incredible strength. He attacks the hole aggressively and routinely eliminates defenders when picking up the blitz.

In a league where ‘tweeners such as Greg Jones, Justin Griffith and Thomas Tapeh are suddenly in vogue, bulldozing fullbacks like McClain are a dying breed. He was told as much by Kirby Wilson, the running backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"He told me there's a rare breed of fullbacks in the league and he feels like I'm a great one, the best one he's seen in a long time," McClain said.

In San Diego, McClain would serve as the heir apparent to Lorenzo Neal. He would also provide excellent injury insurance, as no other player on the roster is equipped to replace Neal should the 14-year veteran be injured for an extended period of time.

While he may not be as accomplished a blocker as Neal, McClain does provide a bigger threat as a receiver out of the backfield.

"If you want me to go in there and lay the lumber to a linebacker, I'll do that. If you want me to slip out in the flat and catch a pass, make a guy miss and get up-field, I'll do that," McClain said.

Because the Chargers boast such extraordinary depth, most of the team's second-day picks will struggle to earn roster spots. McClain is a player who could not only earn a spot, but could make an impact.

As an old-school fullback, that's what he does best.


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