A Look At Nick Bawden‘s 2017 Season Performance and Future Outlook In Detroit
The fullback position has been one of great success and abandonment in Detroit. In recent memory, there have been three times the Lions have drafted or signed one of the league’s best fullbacks, only to cut them shortly after. This has been the fate of Jed Collins, Jerome Felton, and Michael Burton in recent years. Hopefully, if the Lions strike fullback gold yet again with their selection of 7th-round pick Nick Bawden, they are able to retain and utilize him for some time to come.
Bawden and his selection in Detroit is an interesting one. The San Diego State product was quite powerful and explosive during his time in college. His athletic ability is actually what got him to San Diego. When he arrived on campus in his freshman year, it was actually to play the quarterback position – which he did for four games all the way back in 2014.
As his transition to fullback might suggest, he was a terrible quarterback in his short career. Bad decisions and turnovers plagued him. However, due to his athletic traits and tenacity, he was able to find his way on the roster as a fullback. Not only that, but he became a leader as a fullback and was among the nation’s best at the college level in 2017.
Nick Bawden’s 2018 Outlook
Bawden showed a good amount to be excited about in college. His physical demeanor translated perfectly to the position. But more than that, he became a really good lead blocker. Does a good job waiting for blocks to get lined up before bursting forward to engage. Short area quickness made it really hard for defenders to escape him once he locked in. He also showed up a good amount as a pass catcher leaking out of the backfield.
What will be Bawden’s biggest hurdle this off-season is proving he is worth the roster spot. The Lions’ habit for dropping quality fullbacks diminishes his top-end ability at the position a fair amount. Add in the heavy competition that the running back group will have and Bawden could be on the outside looking in. Especially with Lions linebacker Nick Bellore lining up one hundred percent of his snaps at fullback so far in Lions training camp.
It is worth noting that new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson does employ fullbacks in his scheme. Ironically, it was former Lions fullback Jerome Fulton that led the way for Adrian Peterson when Davidson was employed with the Vikings. Having a fullback who can do it all has been an important aspect of his coaching schemes in the past and could help Bawden stick in Detroit as long as Davidson is there.