Mughelli’s signing likely ends the tenure of Justin Griffith as a Falcon. Mughelli and Griffith were considered top fullbacks in the 2003 draft class. Mughelli was drafted by the Ravens 13 spots behind where the Falcons took Griffith.
In his first season as the starting fullback, Mughelli was touted for his hard-hitting and fierce blocking style. He caught 21 passes with 2 touchdowns, and also rushed 12 times for 50 yards (4.2 avg). He started 5 games in 2005, but mostly as a replacement for injured Alan Ricard.
Petrino’s offense prefers a more physical lead blocker than Griffith would provide. Mughelli gives the Falcons that. He is also a skilled special teams player, having recorded 30 tackles on special teams the past two seasons.
John Clayton of ESPN.com reports that Mughelli received a six-year contract worth $18 million with a $5 million signing bonus. It makes him the highest-paid fullback in the league.