Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman announced his retirement at the beginning of March after eight seasons with the team. He went away in style in a dramatic video on Instagram, riding a helicopter to a sunset. Sherman has been the fullback in the Chiefs’ offense during years where the position was progressively dying in the NFL.
Now, for the first time in years, the Kansas City Chiefs are without a starter fullback. So what could be the solutions for the 2021 season?
Reid loves using fullbacks in his offenses, he always did with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, however maybe with Patrick Mahomes, his schemes have evolved more towards long passes over the years and the rushes have thus diminished. So what will be his choice during this offseason?
Running the ball and having a fullback blocking and opening the way is clearly out of fashion. Fullbacks are now more versatile to fit nowadays game, playing in special teams, running or even receiving short passes.
So what about an H-back? A hybrid position between a fullback and a tight end, playing mostly on the wings… That could be an option Brett Veach could explore if he does not go with a traditional full-back position.
The 2021 draft could bring some options though. Michigan Fullback Ben Mason, Duke H-Back Noah Gray and SMU H-back Kylen Gransen could be the best three players at the position this year.
Ben Mason is already lured by quite a few teams pre-draft, he is probably the best pure fullback in the draft this year. He is an awesome blocker and he knows also how to run.
Noah Gray is a very talented H-back. He has experience blocking in-line and on the wings. This player is not very popular so far in the draft, so the Chiefs could “rob” him late and have a good player anyway in the roster.
Kylen Granson is the only H-Back player on the NFL’s 2021 Scouting Combine invite list. He’s certainly a player that could surprise everybody as he has experience with receiving with over 1,200 passing yards and 14 touchdowns over the past 2 seasons at SMU.
Coming from the free agency, two names come to mind, John Lovett and Michael Burton.
John Lovett could be a decent replacement for Anthony Sherman, as he is a familiar face in Kansas City. The freshly released TE from the Green Bay Packers first joined Kansas City after going undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft as a quarterback-turned-offensive weapon out of Princeton. Lovett is versatile enough to play many hybrid positions if he can show and prove he is healthy after his ACL tear.
On the other hand, Michael Burton, the NO Saints fullback is likely to be replaced by the recently signed fullback from Carolina Panthers Alex Armah. He always has been an underappreciated player in the Sean Payton offense but he could become a great asset for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a frequent contributor to the special team and a lead blocker for the Saints rushing attack. Burton had 4 receptions on 4 targets for 28 yards, and on the ground, he had 7 carries for 18 yards and 6 first downs converted.
Replacing Sherman will be a tough task for Kansas City. He was a leader in the locker room, and contributed greatly for years in Reid’s offense.
Bringing in someone who could do everything Sherman did may not be possible, however, let’s see if Brett Veach will choose to go with a traditional fullback or choose a more hybrid player who could meet the impact Sherman had in the team.