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Will Giants keep a fullback? Shane Smith’s fate may hang in the balance

Smith was rarely used on offense during his rookie season

New York Giants vs Oakland Raiders
Shane Smith tackles Oakland punter Marquette King before he is able to kick during a 2017 game.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

One of the interesting decisions first-year New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur will have to make this season is whether or not to keep a true fullback. That’s a decision Shane Smith has a vested interest in, since he is the incumbent at a position not every team uses and currently the only fullback on the roster.

Let’s focus on Smith as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 241
Position: Fullback
Experience: 1

2017 season in review

An undrafted free agent, Smith won a training camp competition for the fullback job. He never touched the ball on offense, and played only 50 snaps in 11 games. He did play 192 special teams snaps, with four tackles. Smith compiled a 47.2 Pro Football Focus grade, in the “poor” category.

2018 outlook

That depends on two things — whether or not Shurmur decides to keep a true fullback, and if he does whether or not he would rather have a more experienced, more accomplished one than Smith.

Tight end Rhett Ellison has experience as a fullback. Jerell Adams has lined up there at times. Ryan O’Malley and Scott Simonson are blocking tight ends competing for roster spots.

I am, honestly, not sure how much Smith can do in training camp or the preseason to affect his ultimate fate one way or the other. Fullback or no fullback? It will be interesting to see how the Giants construct their roster.