As I noted in my post about the fullback position this past season and going forward, there's a lot to be desired from the position among 49ers fans. Moran Norris gets an awful lot of flack, and at least a good 75% of it is well-deserved. He does some things well, but no things great at this point in his career, and it's questionable as to whether or not he fits into the West Coast Offense that Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman will be installing in 2011.
So there's two options, really, much like any offseason: free agency and the 2011 NFL Draft. Free agency is still an uncertainty going forward, and there's not a ton of attractive options to begin with. So we're faced with the draft, and a few promising prospects. The general consensus right now seems to be that Owen Marecic is the top fullback available, and I'm inclined to agree. He's a great talent who can get things done on the ground, through the air, and he can certainly get in there and be physical with his blocking. Note the "ph," we're done being "fysical" around these parts.
After Marecic, there's Stanley Havili from USC, and he's another guy that I saw a lot of people in the comments fawning over. He's got the tools to be great in this offense as well, but my guy is still Charles Clay in that regard. Either way, all three of those guys could be stars in a West Coast Offense, it just all comes down to how soon is too soon to take them? I might put fullback as the 49ers fourth biggest need behind quarterback, cornerback and outside linebacker, which actually works out pretty well because the fourth round is where it's generally acceptable to start getting fullbacks.
All three of those guys could go before the sixth round, and the first two could even go as high as the third. A fullback in the west coast offense could be used for a number of things. He'll need solid hands, good footwork and the ability to be a security blanket for the quarterback. He'll need to block as well as any, and he'll need to be able to run the ball. We already know that Jim Harbaugh values his fullbacks highly. If the options were Moran Norris in 2011, or one of the top fullbacks in the draft, how high would you draft for one?