The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of overhauling their roster, and they were plenty active in free agency and the draft. One of the more notable signings was fullback Kyle Juszcyzk. It was notable because of the dollar figures, which made him the highest paid fullback in the NFL by a sizable margin. His APY and total guaranteed money were more than double the next person.
While his contract makes him a high profile player, he still could be a bit of a “secret superstar.” Pro Football Focus put together their rundown of each team’s secret superstar, and Juszczyk got the nod for the 49ers. Here is what PFF had to say about him.
Fullback is a position of declining importance in today’s NFL as offenses focus ever more on the passing game and less on three yards and a cloud of dust, so to survive and thrive in today’s NFL a fullback needs to be versatile, and Kyle Juszczyk is as versatile as they get. He played significantly more snaps than any other fullback in the league in 2016, and graded well as a blocker and pass catcher, but even earned himself five carries, gaining 14 of his 22 rushing yards after contact. He should make an intriguing free agent addition to the roster.
If Juszczyk is going to “earn” his big contract, it will be because of his versatility. He will do plenty of blocking, but his work out of the backfield in the passing game could prove critical. Brian Hoyer is not a quarterback that will consistently beat teams deep, so having shorter options will be valuable. That’s where Juszczyk comes in.
There has been plenty of talk about the 49ers overpaying Juszczyk. At face value, the contract he got was a surprise. We can joke about John Lynch referring to Kuszczyk as an “offensive weapon,” but there is truth to that moniker. His value will come because of his work all around the roster. I would not be surprised if most weeks he gets some snaps in a traditional fullback role, a running back role, a tight end role, and maybe even a wide receiver role. The 49ers offense remains a work in progress, but Juszczyk offers all sorts of potential versatility to the unit.