Atlanta Falcons: Seven Final Preseason Position Battles

Atlanta Falcons Ito Smith (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Ito Smith (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons Ricky Ortiz (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The fullback position is becoming obsolete in the NFL. Many teams have elected to use 12 personnel (two tight ends, one running back). The Atlanta Falcons are an exception. The Dirty Birds’ balanced style, callsbfor a fullback in the power element of the offense. Derek Coleman was the starter last season, but graded as one of the NFL’s worse, so the Falcons chose not to resign him in free agency.

Ricky Ortiz is a 6’0, 230 pound fullback out of Oregon State University. He previously spent time on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Ortiz is mostly known for his punishing blocks, but has also showed good hands at OSU, and in the preseason. He has been running with the Atlanta Falcons first team all Offseason, and has the inside track to win the starting job.

Jalston Fowler is a massive 5’11 254 pound fullback, from the University of Alabama. He was just recently signed on August 18th, after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. Despite his size, he is surprisingly agile with good hands. A strong showing tonight could possibly win him the job in an upset.