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February 17, 2017

Here are a few options if the Eagles add a legitimate fullback this offseason

Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles want to have a legitimate fullback on their roster at some point, and while it isn't necessarily the biggest priority, they could certainly use a real one instead of occasionally turning to DT Beau Allen.

"Down the road, as we go, if we can develop a fullback at some point, we will do that," Pederson said during the season. "We're constantly looking at that position, not only around the National Football League, but on our roster."

There are a pair of fullbacks who make sense both in free agency as well as the draft.

Free agency

Kyle Juszczyk, Ravens (6'1, 240): Juszczyk is a quality run blocker and an effective receiver out of the backfield. Over the last two seasons, Juszczyk has 78 catches for 587 yards and 4 TDs. He made the Pro Bowl this year and is in the conversation for the best fullback in the NFL. As we know, vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, who Howie Roseman hired away from the Ravens, will be setting the Eagles' free agent board, so there's a connection.

Patrick DiMarco (6'1, 234): DiMarco isn't the receiving threat that Juszczyk is. Over the last two seasons, he has just 20 receptions for 162 yards and 3 TDs, which pales in comparison to Juszczyk's above. However, DiMarco is a good run blocker, opening up holes for Davonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who combined to average 4.63 rushing yards this season. DiMarco also made a few key plays for the Falcons during their playoff run.

NFL Draft

Freddie Stevenson, Florida State (6'0, 236)Coming out of high school, Stevenson was a heavily recruited four-star linebacker who the Seminoles converted to fullback. A season ago, FSU star running back Dalvin Cook ran for 1691 yards on 228 carries (7.4 YPC) and 19 TDs. In 2016, Cook ran for 1765 yards and, once again, 19 TDs. If you watch Cook's highlight reels, you'll often see #23 springing long runs with key blocks.

Stevenson is also a competent receiver out of the backfield, although with so many other other weapons in the Seminoles' offensive attack, he wasn't often used that way. As a runner, Stevenson made the most of his limited carries in 2016, rushing 13 times for 90 yards (6.9 YPC) and 4 TDs.

Sam Rogers, Virginia Tech (5'10, 231): While Rogers has obviously less than ideal size, he was a useful cog in Virginia Tech's offense, as he had 72 catches for 802 yards (11.1 yards per catch), and 7 TDs over his college career.

At his smaller size, as you might imagine, Rogers is a very good athlete for a fullback. He's OK in pass protection, keeping himself in between blitzers and the quarterback, and while he's not a punishing run blocker like Lorenzo Neal (or anything close to that, really), he does a good enough job of moving his feet to get in the right position to block, more often than not getting the job done, albeit at the college level.

* Thanks Rob.

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