Commentary

Schmitt, Hillis and Hester top 2008 fullback prospects

West Virginia's Owen Schmitt leads this year's crop of fullbacks, which also includes versatile backs Peyton Hillis and Jacob Hester.

Originally Published: February 8, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
A fullback prospect with the exceptional skills and versatility of 2007 second-rounder Brian Leonard only comes around once or twice per decade, and the 2008 crop won't reverse that trend. However, Owen Schmitt of West Virginia, Peyton Hillis of Arkansas and Jacob Hester of LSU all project as future NFL contributors.

Schmitt is the most complete prospect of the group but he must adjust to a pro-style scheme after playing in a run-heavy, spread-option in Morgantown. Hillis and Hester will likely slide to the fifth-round range but don't be surprised if both provide tremendous returns for their respective NFL teams with their versatility and ability to lead by example.

Hester has quicker feet but Hillis has a much better body and overall strength. The common denominator between the two, though, is versatility. Both are reliable in all areas: they can punish a defense with occasional short-yardage carries, are reliable receiving options and, in time, could rank among the premier pass blockers in the league. Hester and Hillis will also contribute immediately on just about every phase of special teams.

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