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Saints Nation: Training Camp Position Battle Preview – Fullbacks

This will be a short post because the Saints currently only have two fullbacks on their roster. They are incumbent starter Jed Collins, and one year vet Austin Johnson. The fullback position is used by the Saints infrequently, but still carries some value. Jed Collins has been an underrated part of the offense, providing great lead blocking and 14 receptions (2 touchdowns) as a safety valve in the passing game. The fullback position is going obsolete in the league, but the Saints still have some use for it. Here are the players:

Jed Collins: Collins is known for his absurd touchdown dances and eccentric personality. He's not afraid to speak his mind and he's an appreciated character in the locker room. He is an exceedingly good lead blocker with some balls skills, and he's a valuable and underrated part of the offense. As far as I know the coaching staff appreciates him greatly. He is the unquestioned starter and barring a shock he'll be right back in that spot for 2013. 

Austin Johnson: He's a converted fullback after playing linebacker in college at Tennessee. He was with the Baltimore Ravens in camp last season as an undrafted rookie free agent before getting cut. He hasn't played the fullback position so this seems like a pet project with some developmental component. As a former linebacker he has some tackling ability, though, and remember the Saints' will keep two fullbacks if the second can demonstrate some special teams value. Remember they kept Kory Hall in years past as a #2 because he was good in coverage units and blocking. At 6'2" 250lbs he seems to have the build, but in my opinion he's a long shot to make the roster.

Prediction: Jed Collins makes the squad again, Austin is released.