Jack Del Rio desperately wants to get back to having a physical football team who can dominate the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively. Physicality is an identity that sounds great to say, but you must have the players to execute, and that seems to be what the Jaguars are trying to accomplish in this years draft.
Fullback is said to be a dying position, as more teams are going with hybrid “H-backs,” and more single-back sets. The Jaguars appear to be looking in the opposite direction as they’ve shown interest in several “pure” fullbacks in this year’s draft.
The Jaguars interviewed Syracuse fullback Tony Fiammetta earlier last month, and were impressed with the player that is the consensus top fullback available in the draft. Although Fiammetta played for one of the worst teams in the FBS last season, he is a devastating blocker who could pave the way for a big season out of Maurice Jones-Drew and Greg Jones.
Another player the Jaguars like is LSU fullback Quinn Johnson. The 6’1”, 246 lb. fullback is a hard-working, physical player. Johnson is more of a pure blocker, as he doesn’t have great hands and has to be timed with a sundial. Still, the Jaguars are very aware of his work as Jack Del Rio and company coached him in the Senior Bowl.
"Jacksonville was my coaching staff, but they also told me that they needed a fullback,” Johnson told Scout.com’s Ed Thompson. “I loved working with that coaching staff because even though what we were doing was different, they made things so simple."
Another fullback that the team has a visit scheduled with is California’s William Taufoou. Taufoou stands 6’0”, 253 lbs., and is a little more of a combo back as he has good hands and decent speed.
Demar Richardson of Cal Sports Digest.com had this to say about the bruising back—
Fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou does not suffer from a lack of talent, but could go undrafted, because not that many teams use a fullback on a consistent basis. He proved that he has good speed out of the backfield and has very good hands. Ta’ufo’ou could be very effective in red zone situations. Any team would be wise to select him. The worst thing that should happen is he would be signed as a free agent immediately after the draft.
Finally, the Jaguars are looking at Jason Cook from Mississippi State. Cook is an athlete, although he may not look just like one with his 5’113/4”, 241 lb. frame. Cook recorded a 33.5” vertical leap, 9’6” broad jump, and ran a 4.63 second 40-yard dash. Cook is projected as a fifth-sixth round draft pick.
The Jaguars appear to be serious about playing some more smash-mouth football, and it is likely that they are going to either draft or sign one of these classic fullbacks.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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