The game is changing and as Ravens LB Ray Lewis has echoed, “There ain’t no more 250-, 260-pound fullbacks“. It’s the truth.
As much as the position has evolved over the years in the NFL, the viable massive fullback is almost extinct. That’s the beauty of the position, however. While elite fullbacks in the NFL are becoming an endangered species, finding one or two is exciting.
The 2012 fullback has to block and catch out of the backfield while remaining a strong power back in short distance situations and holding his weight, so to speak, in pass protection. Vonta Leach is the league’s best FB right now, but there are a couple of players that could be elected to the 2013 Pro Bowl from this season.
Henry Hynoski, New York Giants (NFC)
With John Kuhn being scripted to be used as a more traditional FB, it opens up the door for Hynoski to become a much bigger threat in the race to the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl. Kuhn was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl because of his ability to score touchdowns and Hynoski could provide a mismatch in the end zone against some defenses.
“Hynocerous” has the size (6’1, 266 lbs.) and the above-average athletic ability to be a true bruiser for the Giants’ in his second-season as the lead blocker in the running game. Hynoski is one of those 250, 260-pound FBs that Lewis says is missing from the game. The fullback is only in his second-year in the league and while he is not quite as destructive as Leach can be, Hynoski has the potential to make that jump to the next level.
Bruce Miller, San Francisco 49ers (NFC)
Bruce Miller had the duty of converting from defensive end in college to fullback in the NFL. A 30-yard touchdown in his first season only signals that it was a good move. Miller took over for the less athletic, less productive Moran Norris, currently a Houston Texan, and the seventh round pick showed out as a rookie.
The second-year FB has sown some weaknesses in that he doesn’t always engage the right defender, but he has the ideal upper body strength to get down low on defenders to make an impact when he does. Miller did not have an offseason last year, but still had a farely successful season. There is no telling what can happen in 2012 after he has been afforded that luxury.