Ok, so Hillis was a badass pickup (especially for me. Outside of KC, he was my favorite player. Quite bittersweet however, as Cleveland used to be one of my favorite teams). But with Le'Ron going to the enemy we lack someone who will block, give their all to dive into a defender and take them out of the play. Although he was quite good at it, Le'Ron wants to be a HB and it shows. He says he wants to help Jamaal and Jones run for 1,000 yards a piece, but that didn't really pan out.
I liked McClain and was sad when he went to the Chargers. But it's time to move on and look for someone who is out for blood and has something to prove, by merely blocking.
But do we REALLY need a true fullback? Could single-back be fine for the whole game? Could we just use an H-back instead? Let's look.Go the single-back route for an air-it-out approach. No explanation needed.
Use a preexisting H-back.
Kevin Boss is known league-wide as a very technically sound blocker with very good drive off the ball. From what I saw out of him in Oakland and New York, I liked his blocking. However, I'd like to see him more as your prototypical tight end.
Steve Maneri would be the biggest fullback in the league. As it stands right now, he's the largest TE in the league at 6'6, 290 pounds. His size and athleticism actually enabled him to fill in at both TE and RT last. He caught very few balls and essentially blew the playoff hopes for us (however, he was blocking Richard Seymour), but we might as well line him up in the backfield versus Pittsburgh to make Polamalu think twice about blitzing. I remember he actually motioned into fullback and into a three point stance a few times against the Steelers (or it may have been Becht, either way seeing that massive a man locking horns with shrimps like Harrison, Farrior and Clark was badass. He looked like a giant in comparison).
A lot of guys couldn't get him out of KC fast enough, but if I'm not mistaken he was ranked out as VERY good among TE's. He's got that tough look about him. His picture on the Kansas City Chiefs website is him scowling, a fearsome crew cut and an intimidating fire in his eyes. His viscous persona reflects on the field as well, as he was arguably KC's best blocking TE last year, including specialist Anthony Becht. He may not be the best technically but he's a physical hitter and a hard worker who doesn't back down from anyone.
Use an existing fullback option.
Shane Bannon is always the first to come to mind. We fans don't exactly know what to do with him. My thoughts on him are as follows:
He was picked over Henry Hynoski, the top fullback in the 2011 Draft. Someone in the Front Office thinks he has something.
He was from Yale, that has its advantages and disadvantages. He's obviously incredibly smart. But it also means that he's played against some shitty competition.
He's a hard worker and a good natural athlete. He was around 240 pounds during college, and according to his agent and scouts put on nearly 30 POUNDS OF SOLID MUSCLE through an incredibly strict workout and diet. He also ran a 4.6-4.7 during individual workouts. That means he has 3 things that you can't teach a player, intelligence, speed, and size. He can lift weights and get stronger, he can work on his blocking and get better (and you know he's up to it).
He tries hard and loves to hit, but that's all he offers. My experience watching him in the preseason showed me he's a thunderous blocker... when he actually hits. He whiffs on a lot of blocks because he goes for the big hit. He also offers little as a runner and receiver. But as I said before, he can work on his blocking (somewhat). He just needs some time and I think he'll be a very good starter. But we need an immediate guy, so...
Peyton Hillis. Meh, I don't wanna see him blocking so much. I want him to be running the ball and punishing defenders. But it's always an option, as he was seen as one of the top fullbacks in the 2008 Draft (a draft that was largely considered to be the best fullback class in years). His running and receiving were seen as the best parts of his game, but his blocking was also praised. Yes, ONE of the top fullbacks in that draft along with my next entry. Yeah, you know who it is...
Existing free agent/draft fullbacks/H-Backs.
OWEN F*CKING SCHMITT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The definiton of "Bleed" in the Speed and Bleed offense. He's insane, to put it simply. Football is not a game for him. His life wasn't the best as a youngster, and he saw football as a way to release his anger. I quote from an interview with him "When I play football, I can hit people as hard as I want and not get in trouble for it." He has a mohawk, a beard, and a bunch of facemasks bent in his career. In an interview before a Seahawks game in which a former teammate linebacker was playing on the opposing team, he was asked if they might meet up after the game and reminisce. His response? "Me and linebackers don't get along very well."
His Pre Draft talk was very good. Many analysts called him the best fullback prospect to come to the draft in years. Not only was he talked up for being one of the best combinations of blocker, runner and receiver in draft history, he was compared to the likes of Larry Csonka, Mike Alstott, Bronko Nagurski and his childhood hero John Riggins. All are very successful fullbacks, most were HoF's (Alstott's still working on it). He hasn't run much, but last year he paved the way for NFC rushing leader LeSean McCoy.
In a league where running backs are lucky to be taken in the first round, the fullback is truly a dying breed. But Schmitt was called a "throwback". Many people said he had the potential to revolutionize the modern fullback if a team could utilize both his punishing blocking and running (ran for over 1,000 yards in college, all his teammates say West Virginia's rushing success was at least 50% Schmitt) correctly, but that hasn't worked in his favor. He's gotten like 6 carries in his whole career. Though he has ranked as one of the best blockers in the league, no team has utilized his versatility like I think we could.
Ok, man crush aside, he'd be a good edition. Cheap, great blocker (ranked above Le'Ron in most fullback rankings...), soft hands and all the potential in the world to do something as a runner. He's a blue-collar, team-first guy who doesn't give two shits about personal stats. He's a kind of guy who will have a gash in his forehead and will play with blood gushing down his forehead like he would before an injury. Call him in for a visit Scott, I promise he won't disappoint (he was Sports Illustrated 2007 Workout Freak of the Year!).
Diehl is nowhere near the prospects like Hillis and Schmitt. He's never run for a 70 yard touchdown, caught a massive reception for an amazing touchdown, and he's never gotten any recognition by anyone who knows college football. He's never been compared to the A-Train, Riggo, or Zonk.
But know where you might hear about him? Opposing locker rooms after a game, in the forms of complaints about their bruises and injuries. He doesn't get the rock a lot or get compared to the great running backs of the past, but know who he does get compared to? Cannonballs like Vonta Leach, Daryl Johnston, Dan Kreider and Sam Gash. In fact, his scouting reports are nearly identical to those guys. Praised for his physicality, prototypical size for a blocking specialist (6'1, 265 pounds), strength and technically-sound blocking. He was criticized for his lack of hip movement, relatively slow speed (4.8 40 time), and lack of versatility (with Cassel at QB, always going straight to the dumpoff, that may be bad).
But Diehl has made a name for himself as a lead-blocker. Last season he was utilized little, as Clemson tranformed into an Auburn-like, option-pass happy offense. But when he was blocking for the likes of C.J Spiller and Jamie Harper, he was almost undoubtedly the best lead-blocker in the NCAA.
Not gonna sugar-coat it, he offers blocking and that's it. But when it comes to blocking he's damn good at it.
Hester's a runner at heart. He's not great at that blocking stuff. He has a decent understanding of angles and whatnot, but the pop just isn't there. Bigger linebackers just toss him to the side. But there's no denying his running and receiving ability. He ran for over 1,000 yards his senior season, and has about 600 receiving yards in a whole his college career. He also has a knack in the NFL for picking up first-downs, the only time he's ever allowed to carry the ball. Wouldn't be opposed to grabbing him.
Joe is more versatile than a lot of guys in this draft class. He played tight end technically, but lined up in the backfield on many a play last year. His blocking is technically-sound, and his hits are as powerful as they are numerous. He has approximately gotten around 800 yards receiving in college, so he's a viable dump-off option. He'll be a later round guy.
I've liked Bear since his Fresno State days. He's not an incredibly gifted athlete, he's not the best player, but he gives his all for the sake of his team. He's played both TE and fullback for the Giants (but beefed up to 285 pounds so he might get more playing time as a blocking TE/3rd tackle. Watching him lumber around when he gets the ball is sorta funny, as he looks so slow but little guys just bounce off of him (I'll never forget later in the Super Bowl, Pats need a turnover so keep trying to strip the ball but just get shook off and ran through because they were so weak and feeble in comparison). In short, he's a good blocker, strong, playoff experience, has decent hands and can play TE or FB.
Watch any primetime game with the Steelers as participants, and it seems that all broadcasters have a weird man-crush on the guy (almost equal to Brandon Flowers!). They highlight every good block, reception or run by this 260 pound H-back (however, Jon Gruden seems convinced he weighs AT LEAST 275 pounds). I mean, a lot of it is well-earned. He knows what he's doing and hits the guy he's assigned, may catch a pass 2 times a game. He'd be cheap and effective option for KC.
Despite a relatively weak combine, Ewing's talent doesn't show in the weight room or the track. He's relatively small at 6'0, 238 pounds, but he will lock up with any defender in the NCAA. And I mean ANYONE. Free safety, nose tackle, and everyone in between. He's a fearless guy, with good understanding of angles and a VERY good understanding of leverage and POA. Him and the Wisconsin O-line deserve AT LEAST 90% of Montee Ball's success.
Suhey is the definiton of versatility. Soft hands, cerebral blocker, physical runner, and a special teams demon (a position we need to fill). He needs to add some man-meat (he's a mere 228 pounds), but he's a team-first, responsible guy with a lot of potential and a great football bloodline (anyone remember Matt Suhey?).
AND OF COURSE, DAVID MIMS.
I'm going to share a few little-known facts about David Mims.
-Mims runs a 2.27 40 Yard Dash.
-David Mims is holding up the sky with nothing but pure strength. Ancient Greeks remember him as the titan Atlas.
-Anyone who touches David Mims immediately bursts into flames.
-David Mims has laser eyes AND X-Ray vision.
-David Mims can slam a revolving door.
That is all.