Still on the theme of roster battles for the New York Giants 2014 season, we take a look at the the starting fullback position.
Despite being pretty well known among fans, the two candidates can only show so much at the no-contact drills in these OTAs, leaving everyone wondering how their physical prowess will translate to full contact practice in July.
A few years back, the fullbacks’ qualities were measured by the mixture of being able to receive a good number of snaps during a season as well as being good blockers, but things have changed. Being able to block consistently seems to be the main characteristic that coaches look for when choosing a starting fullback and this seems to be the case for the Giants as well.
Coach Tom Coughlin has indicated that despite having Eli Manning healthy and ready to go, the team is going to be very committed to the running game as well, having acquired talented and young runners this off-season. So, regardless of the changes that the team has been going through on the offensive end, we can only assume that the fullbacks are going to be asked to be more blockers than runners.
Who are the candidates?
John Conner is a 5 year veteran, standing 5’11 feet tall and weighting 245 pounds.
Henry Hinoski, a 3 year Giants made player is 6’1 feet and 266 lbs.
Despite being smaller and lighter, Conner was the better blocker between the two last year, ending the season with a blocking grade of 8.7, compared to the 7.6 of Hinoski, but nothing is decided yet.
As I said before, we have yet to see (during the contact drills to happen in the summer camp) who has developed better this off-season and who is going to be able to help the offense more effectively by blocking defenders away from the runners – which will probably be the deciding factor when choosing the starting fullback for the franchise this coming season.
At this point, despite the blocking grades of last year, I’d think Hinoski would be the favorite. If he is willing to put the extra work and learn the new offense, his bigger size and younger age would be the difference makers between the two candidates.