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2021 NFL Draft Profile: What Michigan FB Ben Mason brings to the Baltimore Ravens

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If a team needs a fullback, they should take a long look at Ben Mason.

SMU v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan fullback Ben Mason, how would one describe him? Let’s leave it to ESPN’s Chris Fowler, who once described Mason in this way.

“Big mohawk fella, toughest guy on the team.”

That was a common phrase dished Mason’s way throughout his career at Michigan, ‘toughest guy on the team’.

There must have been something to it, and the film was indicative of what his peers said about him. Mason embraced physicality and brute force. Some guys just like carnage, and Mason is that guy on the gridiron.

Mason’s numbers declined at Michigan once offensive coordinator Josh Gattis came into the fold and phased out the importance of a fullback or H-back, but Mason still made his presence known when he was on the field the past couple of seasons.

Here’s a look at a team-favorite, and fan-favorite, and what he can bring to an NFL team.

Info

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 246

School: Michigan

Position: Fullback

Projected: 5th-6th

Pro Day Results

Bench Press 225 pounds: 29

Vertical: 37.5”

Broad Jump: 9’9”

40-Yard Dash: 4.72

3 Cone Drill: 6.97

Strengths

  • His nickname is Bench Mason for good reason. Very strong human, his 29 bench reps are proof of that, as is watching even just ten minutes of his film.
  • Can contribute to special teams right away, and not only contribute but be a major asset. He will hurt people.
  • The deceptive speed at 4.72. Some players seem to run better when the pads are on, and Mason fits that mold.
  • Good blocking FB that has the ability to make a run game better. Not only is he a good blocker, but he loves to block, he loves contact.
  • Asset in short-yardage situations.
  • A hybrid FB that has the ability to line up at H-Back and be an adequate pass catcher with the ability to beat linebackers to the edge. Mason showed his receiving prowess at Senior Bowl practices.

Weaknesses

  • He plays a position that is getting phased out by more than half of the NFL. A FB will always find a home in the pros, but their value in the draft has decreased.
  • Not a lot of experience as a receiving option.
  • More of a downhill runner than a bounce outside-type.
  • Only 1 carry the past two years

Overview

NFL scouts are not going to penalize Mason for being underutilized the past two years under Gattis. Michigan’s running game improved when Mason was on the field, the issue was Gattis continued to trot outspread formations out of the shotgun when the passing game was struggling and the running game wasn’t gaining traction with Mason on the sideline. Mason’s best season at Michigan game in 2018 when he had 7 rushing TDs and as reliable as a short-yardage specialist.

I spoke with college football analyst Phil Steele two years ago about Mason and Phil told me “Ben Mason is one of them old-time football players, and that’s what you want as a fullback. You look at the size he’s got, he’s played on the defensive line, I like that factor, and he’s gonna play a little bit there as well. I think if you’re an NFL scout and you’re looking at Ben Mason. He’s your tough, hard-nosed guy you wanna bring in there.”

Some NFL players make a living for their prowess on special teams, Mason can add major value there alone. Add in the fact there aren’t a ton of good fullback options coming out of college this year, or any year for that matter, the Ben Mason breed of a football player is harder to find than it’s not.

Mason can block, he has potential as an H-back, the pros far outweigh the cons. Ben Mason deserves to be drafted by a team that believes in him, not by a team that views him as some late round-flier. Mason’s more than that.