Fullback is one of the most underrated positions in football. It isn't the most important position of course, but it shouldn't be written off as often as it is.
Every year in the draft, only a handful of fullbacks are chosen and it is usually during the late rounds. This year, one of the fullback prospects who has a good shot at having his name called on draft day is Braden Wilson.
He was a big part of Kansas State's high-powered running game, and NFL teams in need of a fullback will certainly be considering him.
Full Name: Braden Wilson
Birthday: October 9, 1989
Hometown: Smith Center, Kansas
High School: Smith Center High School
Major: Social Sciences
Wilson played running back and defensive end in high school, but made the switch to fullback upon committing to Kansas State. His natural ability as a blocker made the transition appear seamless.
2009: 12 games, eight rushing yards, 33 receiving yards
2010: 13 games, eight rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 63 receiving yards
2011: 13 games, 15 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards
2012: 13 games, 13 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 34 receiving yards
Stats aren't the best friend of blocking positions like fullback. All they show is that the fullback can run or catch the ball in a pinch.
A much more useful stat would be the rushing stats of Wilson's teammate, Colin Klein. Klein rushed for 2,485 yards and a staggering 56 touchdowns with Wilson leading the way as a blocker.
Weight: 251 lbs.
Arm Length: 33 3/8"
Hand Size: 10"
40-yard Dash: 4.81 seconds
Bench Press: 22 reps
Vertical Jump: 33"
Broad Jump: 9'5"
Wilson's measurables were decent, but nothing special. Having a poor 40 time and unimpressive vertical and broad jumps won't hurt him as much as it would other prospects, though. As a fullback, Wilson isn't expected to be explosive.
His postseason measurements just solidify his position as a fullback, and not a running back, going into the next level.
In 2007 when Wilson was still playing running back in high school, his team (Smith Center High School) managed to score 72 points in the first quarter of a game.
Smith Center also managed four undefeated seasons and four state titles during Wilson's tenure. Not a bad track record.
As I said before, a fullback's impact is hard to show on paper. To make matters worse, highlight reels featuring a fullback are also tough to find.
The only real way to evaluate fullbacks is to watch game tape. If they block effectively, run the correct routes and have enough strength and athleticism to continue doing so at the next level, they're good to go.
Braden Wilson is one of those prospects. He cleared the way for Colin Klein to have a Heisman-nominated season and seems to be happy with his limited role as a fullback.
It may not be until the third day, but it's highly possible that Wilson will hear his name called during the 2013 draft.