What will the New York Giants do at fullback with Henry Hynoski set for knee surgery on Friday, a fact that despite Hynoski's determination makes his availability at least early in the 2013 NFL season a question mark.
The obvious short-term answer is to lean on Bear Pascoe, the 27-year-old blocking tight end who has spent some time at fullback in each of the past two seasons. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound Pascoe can play the position adequately but he is hardly the road-grading run blocker that Hynoski is.
How good is Hynoski? Pro Football Focus recently graded the third-year fullback as having the highest "success rate" of any fullback in the league at 47.47 percent. PFF defines success rate as "collecting 40 percent of required yardage on first down, 60 percent of required yardage on second down, and 100 percent on either third or fourth down." The percentage is how often the Giants accomplished those benchmarks with Hynoski on the field. No team in the league ran more successful plays while using a fullback than the Giants did in 2012.
If the Giants want to look outside the organization to replace Hynoski what options do they have? Here are a few:
Mike Cox. Cox, 28,is a 6-foot, 260-pound five-year veteran who played seven games (six starts) for the Atlanta Falcons last season. He never ran the ball or caught a pass and he had a +2.1 overall grade from PFF. Hynoski had a grade of +8.0.
Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta, 6-foot, 242 pounds, was waived by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2011 season due to concussion issues. He was claimed by the New England Patriots, but did not play. He was released in April and would reportedly hope to play again.
There are a few other fullbacks available, but none incredibly appealing.