Ranking the 2013 Free Agents: Fullbacks

Khaled Elsayed uses a season's worth of PFF analysis to rank the Top 5 fullbacks available in free agency.

| 4 years ago

Ranking the 2013 Free Agents: Fullbacks

Every day this week (and some of next) we’re going to be breaking down the top free agents at each position. It’s more than just looking at our grades, but factoring in longevity, age, injuries and so much more in order to tell you who we think are the best gets out there.

We’re not going to insult your intelligence though when it comes to guys unlikely to hit the open market because of the franchise tag, so don’t expect to see names like Joe Flacco or Ryan Clady in these pieces. Instead we’re focusing on guys with a real shot at dipping their feet into the free agent pool and making your team better.

Yesterday we looked at the running backs, and now, the fullbacks:

1. Greg Jones – to HOU: 1-year, $1m

2012 Grade: +6.3
2012 Snaps: 246

Summary: Why Jones? Because first and foremost we want our full backs to be able to lead block. At 31 years of age you’re starting to wonder about how Jones, with his injury history, can hold up to the battering a fullback takes, but over the years few have come close to matching his ability to open up running lanes.

2. James Casey – to PHI: 3-year, $14.5m

2012 Grade: +7.0
2012 Snaps: 609

Summary: An interesting stat is that Casey was lined up at fullback on 17 of the 19 rushing touchdowns the Texans managed last year… interesting, but not completely relevant since Casey ended the year with a negative run blocking score. Indeed, he’s far more likely to hurt teams with the ball in his hands than he is to put a crushing block on a linebacker or safety. His +7.6 receiving grade was the best of all fullbacks.

3. Jerome Felton – stays in MIN: 3-year, $7.5m

2012 Grade: +9.3
2012 Snaps: 402

Summary: Where did that year come from? As is often the case, a big year from a back ensured big praise for his lead blocker, with Felton earning most of it with a +7.9 blocking grade. The Vikings averaged 6.3 yards per carry when he was lined up at fullback, the highest figure of all his peers. Still, it’s worth noting Rhett Ellison actually had a higher grade and the Vikings average 0.2 yards per carry more with him at fullback (he didn’t have enough snaps at the spot to qualify for the study). Felton is a good fullback, but is he a great one?

4. Corey McIntyre

2012 Grade: +1.3
2012 Snaps: 103

Summary: Due to the Bills’ offensive plan, McIntyre hardly ever saw the field. Which is a shame given how solid a blocker he has proven over the years. In 2011 he only saw 104 snaps and he has faced a moderate workload since the 2010 season where he again graded positively for his run blocking. Perhaps a change in coaching staff might make him valuable in Buffalo once again. Perhaps another team is going to make use of him.

5. Mike Cox

2012 Grade: +2.1
2012 Snaps: 137

Summary: Rounding out the class is the fill-in Cox, who wasn’t expected to start for the Falcons, but injuries to Brady Ewing, and Lousaka Polite having nothing left in the tank, meant Cox got a chance to show what he was capable of. He didn’t put himself in the shop window for a starting gig so much as show he’s a serviceable option in the short term.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Michael W.

    Vonta Leach will most likely be released by the Ravens so you might as well put him on there.

    • Guest

       Was Leach a FA as of 02/12/2013?

      • guest


  • Jared

    Jerome Felton should no question be number one. Love Greg Jones, has been a very productive Fullback and at times rusher. But hes in his 30’s and has blown out both knees. I understand Felton looks like a product of the Vikings offensive line with Peterson behind him, but look at the year he had with Carolina in 2011. Besides Leach he has to be considered the best. Only fault is he has only played a few seasons.


    Rhett Ellison is the HB / FB / TE of the now and the future for the purple … Felton has improved his status with some gr8 film for his future team