This post continues a series picking an All-Decade Team. Over the summer, we'll be honoring the best players Carolina has had at each position over the past ten years. We'll also give shout-outs to some of the other memorable players we've had. In our last four installments of this series, I picked Ryan Succop as our top placekicker, Spencer Lanning as our punter, Marcus Lattimore (with an honorable mention to Cory Boyd) as our runningback, Jared Cook at tight end, Alshon Jeffery and Sidney Rice at wide receiver, Travelle Wharton, Garrett Chisolm, T.J. Johnson, Shane Hall, and Melvin Paige on the offensive line, Stephen Garcia at quarterback, and Syvelle Newton and Ryan Brewer at all-purpose.
Today, we're talking about fullbacks. Fullback is a thankless position. Although fullbacks oftentimes enjoy a kind of backhanded praise for the work they're doing behind the scenes, they don't get many chances to shine on big plays, and the recent turn to spread offenses has seen many teams use more and more no-fullback formations. However, having a good fullback can be a great tool, when used correctly: you need a good fullback for the I-formation, cloud-of-dust ground game, and having one that can catch the ball oftentimes gives you a secret weapon.
The following players were regular fixtures at fullback for Carolina over the past decade:
Of this group, Pinnock was the best and made the largest contribution to Carolina, so I'm picking him. That said, both Turman and DiMarco also made huge contributions to the program, so both deserve recognition. It should be remembered that Pinnock's numbers are helped because he played both FB and TB, and you might say that DiMarco did more in a true FB role than the others in the group. That said, I don't see that as being a reason to pick DiMarco over Pinnock; Pinnock played both roles because he was a more versatile player, and certainly he was punishing FB when he wore that hat. That's why he was selected in the NFL Draft, a rare accomplishment for someone projected as a FB.
That wraps up our posts on offensive players. We'll move on to defense soon.