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Top 5 Fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft: Zander Horvath to mirror Mike Alstott in the NFL?

Could one of the top fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class extend the NFL selection streak to five fullbacks in the last five years?

The evolution of college football has dramatically reduced the number of fullbacks playing at that level. Nonetheless, four fullbacks have been selected to the NFL in the last four seasons. While it seems unlikely that streak could be extended to five in the 2022 NFL Draft, let’s check in with the top fullback prospects in the class.

Top 5 Fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft | 2-5

Who are the top fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft?

5) Clay Moss, Weber State

Despite the postponement of the FCS season until the spring, Weber State fullback Clay Moss received high praise before the 2021 NFL Draft. Having made 44 appearances, he is one of the more experienced players on this list. During that time, he has rushed for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. Moss has also added 174 yards on 21 receptions out of the backfield.

Although he is one of the smaller fullbacks — listed at 6’1″ and 225 pounds –, Moss displays physicality as a blocker. He was a former linebacker, which shows up with the approach he takes to initiating contact. A productive running back in high school, Moss also possesses decent athleticism.

4) Jack Colletto, Oregon State

Oregon State linebacker Jack Colletto is not your ordinary NFL Draft prospect. Currently listed at inside linebacker, he arrived in Corvallis from Arizona Western College as a dual-threat quarterback. He made one start amongst eight appearances at QB during the 2018 season for the Beavers before switching to linebacker for the 2019 campaign.

Despite the switch to linebacker, Colletto has still taken reps under center for Oregon State. Yet, he’s at his most dangerous with the ball in his hands as a runner. Last season, he rushed for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. So far in the 2021 campaign, he has tallied 46 yards while finding the end zone 5 times.

At 6’3″ and 239 pounds, Colletto might not have the build of some of the other top fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, he has the physicality and intelligence to transition to the position at the next level.

3) John Chenal, Wisconsin

If you’re looking for the archetypal fullback in this 2022 NFL Draft class, then Wisconsin’s John Chenal is your man. The Badgers’ bruiser is 6’2″ and 250 pounds and thrives on doing the dirty work for the Wisconsin ground game. 

As you’d expect from a former high school LB, Chenal does his best work displacing the defense to allow the RB room to do damage. Although yards per carry is a statistic dependant on the cumulative efforts of multiple individuals, it’s telling that the Wisconsin ground game is averaging more yards per carry this season than last since Chenal took over full-time duties from the departed Mason Stokke. 

Despite doing his best work creating lanes, Chenal has demonstrated some ability touting the rock himself. The Wisconsin fullback averaged 6.7 yards per carry last season and has at least 1 rushing touchdown in the last three seasons. 

2) Jeremiah Hall, Oklahoma

Jeremiah Hall arrived at Oklahoma as the 28th-ranked tight end in the 2017 class. Additionally, he was a three-star recruit from North Carolina. He has demonstrated his pass-catching prowess for the Sooners with 423 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns during his Oklahoma career.

If those numbers don’t appear impressive, there’s a reason why. It’s also why he’s included in the list of our top fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Hall isn’t used as a typical tight end for the Sooners. He operates as an H-back in Lincoln Riley’s offense — a hybrid between a fullback and a tight end. It’s the position that former Green Bay Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski played while at Norman, leading to him being a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Hall weighs in some 10 pounds lighter than Ripkowski. Despite this, he demonstrates an ability to be impactful as both a pass protector and downfield run blocker. In fact, at 6’2″ and 243 pounds, Hall is a similar build to the most recent fullback to be drafted in the Ravens’ Ben Mason.

Who is the top fullback in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Despite currently dealing with an injury, this Purdue prospect is the top fullback of the 2022 class.

1) Zander Horvath, Purdue

When Purdue running back Zander Horvath broke his fibula in the 49-0 win over UConn earlier this season, college football fans and NFL Draft analysts were deprived of the opportunity to further study a rare creature in his natural habitat. 

Horvath plays the game with a physicality that you’d expect from a 6’3″, 230-pound running back. Yet, he combines that physicality with an athleticism associated with a smaller framed athlete. The Purdue RB also has the hands of a wide receiver while possessing the blocking ability that most playmakers can only dream of. 

At the time of his injury, Horvath averaged 4.6 yards per carry and 9.0 yards per reception for his career. While he has played exclusively as a running back for the Boilermakers, his size and skill set should see him effortlessly transition to fullback in the NFL like former Purdue RB Mike Alstott did for Tampa Bay.

As a result, Horvath should be considered one of the top fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. For me, there isn’t a better prospect at the position right now despite the injury. 

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter @ojhodgkinson.

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