School: Arkansas Razorbacks
Measurables: 5’8″, 244 lbs
How Acquired: Selected in 7th round of NFL Draft
How can the Seahawks use him?
When Kiero Small was drafted every Seahawks’ fan said to themselves “we already have two fullbacks, what kind of a pick is that!?!?!?”
But after looking a lot deeper, Pete Carroll and Co. had their stuff together when they made this pick, as they usually do late in the draft. In fact it might not be so far fetched to imagine Small actually standing in front of Marshawn Lynch come the first offensive play of opening day against the Packers, as Mitch pointed out two days ago. There’s a reason the Seahawks brought back Michael Robinson in the second half of the 2013 season, Spencer Ware is having issues staying healthy and as lovable as Derrick Coleman is, he is the finesse to Ware’s physical.
So if you can fit it all into one buff-little package, why not do that? Looks like the Hawks did it that way, so it will be interesting what fates lie ahead for the other two fullbacks. My guess is that Spencer Ware gets cut.
Believe it or not, the best attribute Small can offer Seattle and in-particular to Russell Wilson is his ability to handle the ball and do something with it, whether it be catching it out of the backfield or taking a quick-hitter and making yards in short yardage situations. Michael Robinson was so good at both of those, while the other fullbacks haven’t necessarily shown that ability just yet. With all of the speed the Seahawks have on the outside, a little dump-off every now and again can really take the pressure off a quarterback and is usually wide open. Small can do all of that and he loves using the truck-stick on guys when he has the ball in his hands.
If you’re looking for something he’ll need to work on, it will come in is his decision-making in pass protection. As you can see in his game film below, he is very good at scanning the field and finding good matchups to help out with on blitzes and in double-team situations. However he is not as good as he needs to be in making a decision and sticking with it, meaning he gets caught in the wash a lot of the time choosing instead of attacking and instead of getting one of the two, misses the opportunity to get anybody at all. At this level, in order to be a really useful fullback Small will need to be quicker at reacting to incoming threats.
But he can do everything he needs to do to not only make this team but be a solid contributor; dig out linebackers, produce in the run and pass games and when he does make that decision he is a quality pass protector.