Combine Session Report: Fullbacks

Combine Session Report: Fullbacks

The talent at fullback is not good this year and less then a handful of lead blockers could ultimately get drafted. Yet many helped themselves last weekend at the combine. Here's a look.

A pair of fullbacks really stood out but none quite as much as Troy Fleming. Scouts were pumped about Fleming before he was even measured, as many loved interviewing him and feel Fleming is a mature kid. Once the shorts and sneakers were put on they liked him even more. After running a pair of solid forties Fleming translated much of that speed into his practice session. A quick-footed high stepper, he was outstanding in all the ball carrying drills then caught the ball exceptionally well. He was fast throughout the afternoon and showed terrific focus with excellent footwork. Now the question remains, is Fleming a lead fullback or big feature runner?

The other prospect that really stood out was Thomas Tapeh. Like Fleming, Tapeh showed a lot of offensive skill. His pass catching abilities were outstanding and Tapeh looked natural extending to pluck the pass out of the air. Tapeh was even able to get down the field and make the deep reception, displaying both focus, concentration as well as the ability to contort for the difficult grab.

Lousaka Polite also improved his draft stock with a good performance. Running faster then most expected during his turns in the forty, Polite displayed an excellent straight-line burst of speed and some explosion. His offensive skills were minimal as his speed was greatly diminished running on the outside and Polite's pass catching skills were, in a word, terrible. He flat out dropped a lot of throws and could not adjust to the errant pass.

If you are looking for a throwback at fullback then Travis Wilson is your man. Wilson practiced with great hustle throughout the session and showed adequate hands. He is not quick and has difficulty getting outside of tackle but did improve his draft stock.

Likewise Mike Karney is a blocker first and foremost. While he did a solid job catching the ball Karney looked unathletic and couldn't run with the rest of the pack.

Sean McHugh had a disappointing session. Lacking speed, footwork and quickness, it was McHugh's hands that really looked poor. This was surprising as he caught the ball reasonably well at Penn State and at 6-feet 5-inches many project McHugh to tight end.

Alex Wade worked hard all day but did not stand out in any single aspect running poorly, not catching the ball well and lacking any kind of quickness.

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