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Roster Review: Fullbacks

Posted Feb 24, 2012

With free agency and the NFL Draft fast approaching, Redskins.com's Brian Tinsman breaks down the Redskins' roster position by position. Up next: fullbacks.


In today’s NFL, fullbacks must be able to do it all: run block, pass protect, carry the ball in short yardage situations and catch the ball out of the backfield.

In 2011, Darrel Young challenged for the fullback position and won it outright in the preseason. The team decided to keep Mike Sellers as a backup fullback and special teamer.

Young appeared in 13 games last season, staring eight. The other eight starts on offense were filled with two-tight end sets.

Young added 179 yards of offense and scored his first career rushing touchdown in the Redskins’ Week 15 win over the New York Giants.

He helped clear the way for six 100-yard rushing performances by three different running backs last season.

For 10 of the last 14 seasons, Sellers was a durable fullback who missed only seven games in his first decade in Washington.

Sellers accepted a backup role behind Young and continued to excel on special teams. He played in 13 games overall.


GARY FITZGERALD'S POSITIONAL ANALYSIS

The Redskins like Young's potential and appear committed to him as the team's fullback.

Sellers is under contract with the Redskins but his future is in doubt. Even he doesn't know for certain if he will be back with the team next season.

Since the fullback does not have an every-down role in the Redskins' offense, look for the team to pick up a fullback in the late rounds of the draft, perhaps as a developmental player.


Two NFL Fullbacks Eligible for Free Agency

As of February 23, 2012; names listed are in no particular order

-- Le’Ron McClain, Kansas City Chiefs: McClain has only missed one game in his five-year career, and is a two-time Pro Bowl fullback. With nearly 1,800 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns, he can serve as both a fullback and running back in goal line packages. He has served as the lead blocker for Ray Rice in Baltimore and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City.

-- Owen Schmitt, Philadelphia Eagles: Schmitt is entering his fifth NFL season. The Fairfax, Va., native spent the last two years with the Eagles after the 2008-09 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He has 34 career receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns in his career.

Two Fullbacks Available In NFL Draft

As of February 23, 2012; names listed are in no particular order

-- Brady Ewing, Wisconsin: At 6-0 and 245 pounds, Ewing opened holes for Badgers’ Montee Ball, one of the nation’s top running backs last season. He was a solid option as a receiver out of the backfield, pulling in 20 passes for 246 yards.

-- Chad Diehl, Clemson: Diehl was regarded as the top fullback prospect heading into last college football season. The 6-2, 260-pounder is a powerful blocker who excelled in short yardage and goal-line situations for the Tigers.