Continuing the countdown of the top 40 players on the Atlanta Falcons with the team’s 36th best player: fullback Patrick DiMarco.
To read about the methodology in how these rankings came about, you can click here.
Total Score: 42/100
Last year’s rank: 33rd
Player Grade: 47/100
Teams he is starter: 9 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 9 out of 32
Teams he is role player: 9 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +3
Positional Bonus: +2
DiMarco drops in the rankings largely thanks to the fact that less and less teams in the NFL are using fullbacks in their offense, and thus there are less teams this year than last year that he could carve out a role with. Roughly a quarter of the teams in the league don’t even really have a fullback on their rosters.
It’s a dying position and even though 26-year-old lead blocker like DiMarco could potentially play a long time in this league with another six years of peak production, it’s much more likely that the downward trend in fullback usage will only continue and DiMarco’s career will be far shorter.
After two years competently clearing holes for Falcons running backs, DiMarco faces his stiffest competition this summer in the form of Collin Mooney. When popping on the tape of both players, there’s really no major differences that one can point to to give one a clear-cut advantage. What potentially gives DiMarco the edge is the fact that he’s a bit more familiar to the coaching staff given his regular stints on special teams the past two years in Atlanta.
While DiMarco manages to get the job done, he ranks as a below-average player at his position. Basically he’s good enough to earn a job, but not quite good enough where you expect him to keep it long-term. Even should DiMarco manage to retain his spot atop the depth chart at fullback this summer, he’ll likely face equally stiff competition again next summer. Realistically DiMarco will always be peering over his shoulder at his potential replacement.
Not unless he can show that the past two years were merely a warmup and that somehow with the new zone-blocking scheme being installed in Atlanta, he suddenly blossoms into a above-average to good lead blocker. That certainly is possible, but it’s more probable that eventually the Falcons will stumble upon a better blocker, receiver or special teams player that will take the job from DiMarco. But until then, DiMarco can only do what he’s done the past two seasons in Atlanta, and do his best to contribute in any capacity asked of him.