A Pre-Draft Look at The Packers 53 Man Roster: Fullback
In 2009 GM Ted Thompson kept three fullbacks on the 53 man roster for the entire season a unorthodox move to say the least. All three will be returning for 2010 so if Thompson decides to keep three again the roster is already set at fullback.
If Thompson decides to go more traditional and keep just two fullbacks, John Kuhn and Korey Hall will be battling for one spot behind 2009 fifth round pick Quinn Johnson.
Could Thompson surprise everyone and draft another fullback during the 2010 NFL draft? I doubt it, but Rashawn Jackson, 6'1" 239 lbs., pictured at left is one of the best available projected to be taken in the fifth round.
In my eyes a far more intriguing prospect whom Thompson could likely get in the 7th round is Jameson Konz. The Kent State product has size and speed rarely seen in a fullback prospect. He is 6'4" 234 lbs. and ran the 40 in just 4.43 seconds. That kind of athletic ability could make Konz a very dangerous threat carrying the ball in short yardage situations and catching it out of the backfield on screens and check-downs.
This type of player could make John Kuhn expendable as his role is as more of a short yardage runner than a blocker, Konz would add a dimension Kuhn does not, speed.
I would assume the Packers will keep three again as each one of their fullbacks has a niche on the team. Johnson is the big bruising blocking back, Kuhn is the short yardage back, and Hall is the special teams demon. I could however see Thompson exchanging Kuhn for a cheaper younger draft pick or rookie free agent like Jameson Konz.
1. Quinn Johnson
Johnson was a fifth round pick out of LSU in 2009 telling us the Packers viewed him as their future starter. He wasn't ready to take the reins as a rookie leading the Packers to keep three fullbacks.
As he became more comfortable with the pro game, his playing time increased as the season went on last year.
In 2010 Johnson will be ready and the Packer's running game will show improvement as a result. Johnson is a big strong athletic blocker who should open plenty of holes for Ryan Grant in the Packers zone blocking scheme. Look for Grant to better the 1,253 yards he put up in 2009.
2. Korey Hall
The former linebacker, Hall is a beast on special teams and his play in that area is one of the reasons Thompson kept three fullbacks on the roster in 2009.
He is a serviceable blocker and does well catching the ball out of the backfield. If Thompson decides to keep just two fullbacks on the 53 man roster Hall could find himself the odd man out but based on his special teams value I doubt the Packers will let him go.
He should be a capable backup to Quinn Johnson and a special teams standout once again for the Packers in 2010.
3. John Kuhn
In 2009 Kuhn became a part of the Packers rushing attack, securing a role as a short yardage rusher and red zone receiver. He had his best season as a pro scoring two rushing and two receiving touchdowns on the year and also contributed on special teams.
However, if the Packers keep only two fullbacks on the roster Kuhn will likely find himself out of a job. As Korey Hall is a much better special teams player and Kuhn's equal as a receiver out of the backfield.
I believe the Packers will keep three again but even in that scenario Kuhn's job might not be safe. Ted Thompson could use a seventh round pick or sign a rookie free agent at fullback who he wants to develop like Jameson Konz, in that scenario Kuhn would be the odd man out once again. Mostly due to the fact he is an older more expensive and less versatile player than Hall.