There are currently 20 fullbacks on NFL rosters across 17 teams. there are two teams with multiple fullbacks – the Raiders with two and the Chiefs with three. Every division has a fullback and the AFC West is the only division where every team has a fullback.
There is a fullback from every draft class going back to 2011. From the 2018 draft class there are five fullbacks. Of the 20 fullbacks half of them played that position in college. Of the 10 that changed position tight end was the most common prior position with four playing tight end in college.
Of the 20 fullbacks 12 were undrafted free agent signings. The others were spread across draft rounds by 1 in round 4, 1 in round 5, 5 in round 6 and 1 in round 7.
Of the top ten NFL teams in terms of average yards per carry half of those teams had a fullback. The same holds true for the bottom ten NFL teams in average yards/carry – half of those teams have a fullback. The same ratios hold when looking at rushing yards per game. In 1st down percentage on rushing attempts 60% of the top 10 teams had a fullback and 40% of the bottom 10 had a fullback. In rushing TDs 70% of the top 10 had a fullback and 60% of the bottom 10 had a fullback.
According to nfldraftscout.com the average for the last five drafts is 3 fullbacks selected. The five year trend shows a decrease with the selections starting in 2018 of 2, 2, 3, 5 and 5. They list the current undrafted free agent signings at 25.
There are a lot of “old school” football fullbacks available in this draft. These guys work hard, enjoy contact and have a team-first attitude. Here are my selections in order of ranking of the top six fullback draft prospects.
- Alec Ingold
Ingold is the all-around fullback package. He is a willing and able blocker that plays with a nasty streak and will flatten opponents. In 2018 he had 26 rushing attempts, averaged 5.5 yds/attempt and had 6 rushing touchdowns. That amounts to a score every 4.3 times he touched the ball. He had seven 3rd down rushing attempts of 1-6 yards to go and he made six of them. His one 4th down attempt he got 5 yards and the 1st down. Ingold helped block for running back Jonathan Taylor who was the only back to have over 2,000 yards rushing in 2018. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy had this to say – The lone true fullback in this year’s Seniorbowl is FB Alec Ingold. During our roster building process we polled over half the NFL teams and Ingold had a draftable grade from every club, which is rare these days at the FB position.
- George Aston
“George is a monster in there,” coach Pat Narduzzi said this past season. Aston is another “old school” football player. He bench pressed 29 reps at his pro day which would have been second among combine running backs. In 2016, Aston scored 5 receiving and 5 rushing touchdowns. Only 28 players over the last 10 years have scored at least 5 TDs in both phases. Aston is one of only two in this draft class to do so. Those 10 touchdowns in 2016 came on just 44 touches or a touchdown every 4.4 touches. In 2017 Aston was injured and contributed as a reserve in only two games. Granted a lot changes from year to year, but it is worth noting that Pittsburgh went from 86th in rushing yards /game (148) and 97th in average rush yards (3.87) in 2017 to 18th in rush yards/game (228) and 13th in average rush yards (5.6) in 2018. They had the same two running backs both years. The major differences were three new o-linemen and George Aston was now healthy and playing. One of the o-line changes was the loss of second round draft pick Brian O’Neill. Pittsburgh’s offensive line coach Dave Borbely called Aston the best fullback he’s ever been around. Borbely is in his 39th season as a college offensive linemen coach and run game coordinator.
- Chandler Cox
Cox is another throwback fullback that is a great blocker and has a team-first attitude. He is content blocking if that is what the coaches want and he can help the team win. Cox started 10 games at fullback his true freshman season. He has played in 52 games with 41 career starts. You can see what a big part Chandler is in the Auburn offense in the 2017 PFF snap counts. Chandler had 504 snaps which compared favorably to running back Kerryon Johnson‘s 566. PFF graded Cox that year at 72.1 which was 14th best on the Auburn offense. As a true freshman in 2015 he made the PFF list of top true freshman by position at first team fullback and also made their All-Sec best players by position list. In 2018 Chandler had four touches in the red-zone and came away with 3 touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving. The other touch was a reception for a first down. His eleven receptions in 2018 yielded seven first downs and a long of 19 yards. However his biggest use will always be as a blocker. “Chandler does all our dirty work for us,” Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said. “(A) really tough physical guy and one of our leaders and I think he’s improved tremendously, just technique fundamentals…. He was already a good player and I think he’s improved. (2017)”
- Winston Dimel
After a redshirt freshman year, Dimel made 2015 Big 12 First Team FB, 2016 Big 12 First Team FB and 2017 Big 12 All Conference Second Team FB and 2018 Conference USA Honorable Mention. He is a four year starter at fullback and has started all 45 games he has played at fullback. He scored 22 rushing touchdowns in his three years at Kansas State and another three receiving touchdowns. He was injured in 2018 and only played six games. However he still made C-USA All Conference Honorable Mention. Dimel is another tough bruiser.
- Britton Abbott
Abbot made All Big-12 Honorable Mention in both 2017 and again in 2018 as fullback. Pete Fiutak of College Football News had Abbott ranked as the fourth best Oklahoma State Offensive Player going into the 2018 season. Britton has been characterized as being a tough, physical capable blocker. He has a strong work ethic and works to be the best he can be in anything he does. In his words – ” … what ever coaches ask me to do that is what I’m going to do and do it to the best of my ability. Going to the next level, I’m going to do the same thing, what ever they ask me and work really hard at getting the best I can be at it and gain value by doing as much as I can.” .Abbott had a perfect 4.0 grade point average since stepping on campus, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in December 2017 (3.9-4.0 GPA).