In the hierarchy of needs and sexy positions for the NFL draft, the fullback is near the bottom. The perceived devaluation of the running back position trickles down to his lead blocker. In many offenses, the traditional fullback has been replaced by the slot receiver in standard offensive sets.
Despite the rise of the "passing league," the fullback still plays a vital role in traditional offensive sets. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans rely on the fullback to clear running lanes for their elite running backs.
Lonnie Pryor is a name you may not have heard of, but he is one this year's top fullback prospects. Keep any eye out on Saturday, as Pryor is slated to be an early-to-mid Day 3 prospect.
Name: Lonnie Pryor
Date of Birth: 2/22/1990
Hometown: Okeechobee, Florida
High School: Okeechobee High School
Major: Criminal Justice
Year: Senior 2013
Pryor was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school and ranked as one of the nation's best running backs. Despite double-digit scholarship offers from major programs, Pryor chose to stay close to home and compete for a job with the Seminoles.
Season: ATT YDS AVG TD
2012: 47 376 8.0 8
2011: 27 74 2.7 2
2010: 23 112 4.9 4
2009: 27 156 5.8 4
Lonnie Pryor's senior season was a clear breakout year, with over 375 yards and eight touchdowns. Pryor is unlikely to see this many touches in the NFL, but these numbers show that he still has the running ability that made him a high school standout.
Weight: 227 lbs
Arm Length: 30 3/8"
Hand Size: 8 3/8"
40-yard dash (10-yard split): 4.64 (1.59)
Broad jump: 9'6"
Vertical jump: 30"
Bench Press: 17
Pryor's measurables do not jump off the page immediately, but they are quite impressive when paired with his combine results. At 227 pounds, Pryor clocked faster times than a number of smaller running backs with 4.64 40-yard dash.
Pryor joined the Seminoles as a highly touted running back prospect but with a crowded backfield, he was asked to convert to fullback. Despite this conversion, Pryor defied traditional logic and finished second on the team with eight rushing touchdowns.
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher compares Pryor to former Green Bay Packers hybrid fullback Edgar Bennett as a punishing blocker and agile runner.
"Pryor is an athletic fullback with a powerful lower body. He's not a powerful blocker, but he does a nice job with hand and body positioning, in addition to impressive cut blocking skills. The big issue for him is to prove he can maintain his athletic advantage while having adequate bulk for a fullback." - NFL.com
"Possesses an athletic frame with a thick, powerful lower half. Flexible athlete who gets low and flashes explosiveness, driving his legs on contact to clear a hole or run through tackles. Alert, creative blocker who'll lunge to cut defenders in pursuit of his teammates. Natural runner with better lateral agility and speed than his size would indicate." - CBS Sports.com