If football had an endangered species list, fullbacks would be near the top. While many teams still carry a fullback on their roster, several don’t have one including the Colts, Cowboys, 49ers, Jaguars, Patriots, Rams and Seahawks.
In the last seven years of combine testing, 21 out of over 2,200 attendees, or less than 1 percent, were listed as fullbacks.
John Kuhn, however, has played a valuable role as the Green Bay Packers’ fullback for the past nine years. With Kuhn unsigned, Aaron Ripkowski is his heir apparent.
The two players have much in common and a few differences.
While Kuhn went undrafted in 2006, the Packers invested a sixth-round pick on Ripkowski in 2015.
At 6’1” and 257 pounds coming out of Oklahoma, Ripkowski is even bigger than Kuhn — though the Packers now list his weight at 246.
If we can believe his 4.69 40-yard dash time at a pro day event, Ripkowski is much faster than Kuhn and most other fullbacks for that matter.
Ripkowski’s senior year at Oklahoma was capped off by his being named to the All-Big 12 conference second team by the league’s coaches. This was despite having only six rushes and eight receptions in four years there.
His only stat of that kind with the Packers in 2015 was one reception for 18 yards.
Also notable: Ripkowski was a blocker for freshman Oklahoma rusher Samaje Perine, who in November 2014 rushed for 427 yards against Kansas. That mark is the single-game record in major college (FBS) football history.
The Packers obviously like Ripkowski’s blocking ability and presumably think he can develop into a passable rusher/receiver over time. For 2016, fans will likely see Ripkowski more on special teams than in the backfield.
It will be intriguing to see if “The Ripper” can match or exceed Kuhn’s contributions to the team.
Run and pass blocking would be awesome but it does take a long time to learn. Speed you can’t teach and it seems he may have that already. As long as we don’t have to hear “Boomer Sooner” every time he does something. Nice, relevant article with good supporting facts. As always, Rob.
Oh, and um, I AM GOING TO KICK HIM IN THE BALLS and I AM THE REAL DRAYMOND GREEN and um, ANSWER ME BACK BECAUSE SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER AND WITH MY MOM BEING ON HER BACK 24/7 I DON”T GET ANY ATTENTION AT HOME! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! BALLS!
-There, I added all of your tirelessly repeated and worn out commentary just for you, Lil Draymond.
WTF is that clown anyway?
I got addicted to “balls” when I kicked Steven Adams in game 3. I AM THE REAL DRAYMOND GREEN. MARK MY WORDS THIS SQUAD IS THE GREEN BAY PRETENDERS.
You should go fart in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson, Arizona is a place people farts and you should fart there Tucson Packer.
Anyways fuck you Tucson Packer!
THE GREEN BAY PRETENDERS!
WARRIORS GOING 74-8!
THE GREEN BAY PRETENDERS GOING 9-7 AND ONE AND DONE IN THE PLAYOFFS AND WILL LOSE TO THE CARDINALS 62-7.
Well, you heard it from the “real Draymond Green” Apparently, he is indeed “addicted to balls”….to the surprise of absolutely nobody.
Hey Lil Dray, do you not fart? I hear that’s not normal. I am sure “you” actually do not fart anymore after what your Dad continuously did to you growing up. Maybe you should go to the Doctor to get that and, again, your self-admitted male genitalia addiction looked at. As a matter of fact I think that thing where one dude likes other dude’s balls is called homosexuality. There’s even parades for people who share your common interest so more power to ya. Or just keep up the not keeping your hands to yourself like the apparent adolescent “you” continue to be and I am sure “you” will be in balls heaven once “you” finally get another stay in the Grey Bar Hotel.
I don’t fart. Why don’t you fart in Tucson, Arizona because when you go to Tucson you hear farting noises.