I have said before that I think the Jalston Fowler move makes a decent amount of sense for a team that is trying to become more physically imposing, particularly in the running game.
"We're looking for a blocking back. We think that's a key part of developing a solid running game. We want to get back to doing that, but you have to find that individual who has the size to do it, and he must also be a good special-teams player and must be able to catch the football."
However, it isn't just his presence in the running game that makes Fowler exciting. Croom says that he can also help in a different way.
"A normal fullback — if you're just in a fullback role — will probably play only 12-15 plays a game, and then special teams plays as well. But this guy is a very good receiver. He has excellent hands. He also runs the ball well. ... He moves around. He can play what we call the 'F' tight end (similar to H-back). He can go outside, line up as a wide receiver and run routes out there. They threw him the football (at Alabama). So he's got a lot of versatility and things he can do."
So with that in mind, it is interesting to look at just how many targets a fullback gets. Thankfully, the fine folks over at PFF figured out just that and came up with this interesting stat:
So let's say that the Tennessee Titans do end up becoming one of those teams (because let's face it, you don't spend a fourth round pick on a fullback, not to use him often). That means that according to last year's attempts, Fowler would have a chance at catching more than 15 passes this year. That means that he will have his shot at one per game.
While that might not sound like a lot, here is a list of players that had that many or fewer targets last year on the Tennessee Titans roster:
-Taylor Thompson (injury)
Now that isn't a prestigious group, but I would not have guessed that names like Coffman or Greene would have been on that list.
I'm not saying that Fowler will become a integral part of the passing offense, but if the coaches are raving about his hands and ability to play more than 15 snaps per game then it is safe to assume that Fowler's 2015 ceiling of targets is probably a lot closer to 30 than 15.
This guy is going to be a bigger factor in the offensive game plan than people are expecting, so look out because a big back that can catch, lead block and run the ball will get a lot of playing time on a team with an unsettled running back position.