NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Since Sylvester Croom returned to the NFL assistant coaching ranks in 2009 with the Rams, Jaguars and Titans, he’s seen one college fullback he felt was worthy of drafting.
On Saturday, Tennessee picked Jalston Fowler out of Alabama in the fourth round with the 108th pick of the draft.
Croom, the Titans' running backs coach, said he’s always believed that to draft a fullback, he’s got to be a great blocker and also bring more.
“If you just count fullback snaps, most of the time 12-15 plays is normal just for a true lead blocker,” Croom said. “But when you count the guy’s value on special teams, that can be another 10-15 plays. A guy who catches the ball out of the backfield, he gets to play more. A guy that you may use as a runner in one-back situations to finish a game and give you some depth, he gets to play more.
“And that’s what Jalston does. He’s more than just a fullback.”
NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell doesn’t agree that Fowler is really more than a fullback.
But he likes the pick.
In a fullback who can plow a hole on a short-yardage play and extend drives, and with giant second-round receiver Dorial Green-Beckham as a red-zone weapon, the Titans addressed two areas of concern for their offense.
With Marcus Mariota coming out of the spread offense at Oregon, the Ducks had a scheme superiority that controlled many facets of a game. That superiority shrunk or went away on third down and in the red zone.
“It’s smart to draft a fullback,” Cosell said on my Nashville radio show, The Midday 180. “You can’t live and die with Mariota’s college offense.”