Our training camp preview for the Cleveland Browns continues with the fullback position, featuring two familiar faces from a year ago.
1. Andy Janovich - Starting FB
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 238 lbs | Age: 28
Experience: 6 years | College: Nebraska
Heading into last season, we heard a lot about how Kevin Stefanski used the fullback position more than anyone in the NFL (aside from the 49ers) when he was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. The Browns were able to bring Andy Janovich in for practically free before the 2020 season, and he met expectations in most regards.
Janovich was the top pass blocking fullback in the NFL last year, and among the top run blocking fullbacks. For some perspective, Janovich would average about 4 pass blocking snaps per week vs. 8 run blocking snaps per week. Here is Janovich providing a block for RB Kareem Hunt last season to open a nice hole:
The hog mollies never get the credit they deserve! Kareem Hunt doesn't get sprung for that 33-yard dash without Wyatt Teller & Andy Janovich creating this beautiful hole for him. (Note: Ignore stupid Troy Aikman's telestrator circle)#Browns pic.twitter.com/ZlQpgraHkm— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) September 18, 2020
The area I was marginally disappointed with Janovich in was his receiving ability. Granted, that is not his specialty, but there seemed to be a few instances where he could have made an easy catch, but was unable to. He finished the season with 2 catches for 13 yards. Janovich’s job is firmly secure as the team’s top fullback, and he’s under contract through the 2022 season.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
2. Johnny Stanton - Backup FB
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 240 lbs | Age: 26
Experience: 2 years | College: UNLV
Stanton was on the Browns’ practice squad for most of last season, a benefit of expanded practice squads due to the pandemic. It appears that those expanded practice squads will remain in tact for 2021, which gives Stanton another chance to stick around as an insurance policy.
You may recall last year that Stanton was a Swiss army knife of sorts with his background, having tried quarterback, linebacker, and tight end before settling on fullback. He also takes some reps as the emergency long snapper. Having experience in Stefanski’s system from his Viking days (and now a year with the Browns) helps, but whether the team needs a backup fullback on the practice squad this year remains to be seen.
Final Roster Odds: <1%
I tried to think of a poll for the fullback position, but there isn’t a question that comes to mind. Next up, we will cover the Browns’ wide receiver position in 2021.