Undrafted – The Network

Tom’s Top 5 in 2021 – The Full Backs

Next up we have everyone’s favourite, the Full Backs. The unsung heroes of your run first teams, and part of what many refer to as the specialists, the humble Full Back does not get the respect they deserve. Whether smashing holes through a Defensive line, blocking incoming blitzers or sometimes even actually contributing yards and touchdowns, when used right, these players are invaluable.

Image Credit – Niners Wire – USA Today

But how do you quantify a player whose role is to help set up a play? They do not have a statistic column for holes made in the Defensive Line. Another thing that makes this one difficult is the fact that not all teams run with a
Fullback, therefore it limits the amount of players to pick from, but you have to love someone who tries. Therefore we have my way too early top 5 for 2021 and the Rookie who will make their presence known.

Kyle JuszcykPatrick Ricard
Patrick RicardDerek Watt
Alec IngoldKyle Juszczyk
C.J HamC.J Ham
Andy JanovichAlec Ingold
The 2020 top 5, and the projected 2021 top 5

More so than most of my lists, this one is subjective, and leans more onto how they will play and what will be asked of them.

Patrick Ricard

The question was not if he would be on this list, more a question of how high, and deservedly it is right at the top. Baltimore is without question run first and it is the most effective running team in the league. Every team in the league stacks the box against their backs, including their Quarter-Running-Back, Lamar Jackson (Adam, i’m not even sorry). Ricard is therefore called upon often to set up the team for big gains. A big bonus as well, is that Ricard sometimes plays a little Defense on the line, collecting himself a sack last year.

Derek Watt

In a weird situation, Watt has two much more famous brothers, however it could be his impact this coming season which will be the biggest felt throughout the league. He has built himself a nice career, starting with the Chargers and now up in Pittsburgh with the Steelers and his brother T.J. He has always been in the top 10 Full Backs, but with the imminent arrival of First Round pick Najee Harris, Watt will have a much different role going forward. Harris embodies power Offense, and I expect the Full Back to called upon to open up a hole for his Rookie.

Image Credit – Sporting News

Kyle Juszczyk

You ask any fan, myself included to name any Full Backs and they will say Juszczyk. He is the poster boy for the position and he is extremely well known for his play. Posting at least 200 yards on 20 receptions every year since 2014 shows his value to the team and the position. Those numbers sound low, but are the absolute top of the benchmark for the position. He will do well again this year, and will remain in the top 5.

C.J Ham

The Minnesota Full Back had a breakout season last year, showing he is not only here to stay but also that he wants to be the new face of the position. He posted numbers of 17 receptions, 149 yards and a Touchdown, however 6 of those 17 catches went for First Downs. You do not need me to tell you, how important that is. Ham will look to build on this becoming a safe pair of hands in the receiving game for Kirk Cousins and his short passing game.

Image Credit – Pioneer Press

Alec Ingold

Beginning his career undrafted, Ingold knew it would be tough to make his mark, however very quickly he showed his worth to the Oakland Raiders. He won the job from Veteran Keith Smith in preseason and never looked back. He scored a touchdown on only 6 targets last year, however that statistic is not the most important one. On those 6 targets, all of which he caught, 4 of them went for first downs. Can you find me another player who converts a first down 66% of the time?

Rookie Introduction

Tommy Tremble

The worse kept secret at Undrafted is my love for Tommy Tremble as a Full Back, although he is currently listed at Tight End, for me personally this is the fit. The man blocks incredibly well and can absolute make a catch. He can be a complete Full Back in the NFL and a returning Christian McCaffrey will thank the Panthers if he can get a lead block from Tremble. He also has without a doubt one of the best surnames in the league. Sam Darnold might benefit from that combination of excellent blocking and sure handed receiving too.

Image Credit – Panthers Wire – USA Today

For more of these top 5’s join us on the website here.

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