Analysis

C.J. Ham is Making a Pro Bowl Bid

The fullback position is dead. That is what we have been told time and time again from analysts looking at how the game of football is played in the NFL today. In general, they are right, and many teams don’t even carry a fullback on their roster. If a team ever needs one, they can pick up an undrafted free agent or somebody from the street. After all, that’s how the Vikings scooped up C.J. Ham in 2016. 

Ham has not always been a fullback though. The Duluth native attended Augstana Universtiy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While playing for the Augustana Vikings, Ham was an excellent running back for three seasons, after his initial season where he played fullback. Ham signed with the Minnesota Vikings after rookie training camp in 2016. He was given an opportunity to play in preseason, but was cut and signed to the Vikings practice squad. In 2017, Ham was moved to fullback full-time and has been on the Vikings roster ever since.

Ham’s unique skill set, big but quick, makes him the perfect “fullback” in today’s NFL. The Vikings often split him out and throw passes to him. More than once, he has picked up a clutch first down on a pass out of the backfield, and more than once he’s been Kirk Cousins’ checkdown option on third and long.

What Ham does that makes the team better doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, well not his stat sheet at least. Ham brings the power to lead Dalvin Cook on big runs and help Alexander Mattison pick up first downs. A big part of why Cook is in the talk for NFL MVP is because of his fullback.

Ham also has the speed and finesse to open up holes on outside runs. It is hard to get in front of Dalvin Cook and block before he blows by you, but Ham can do it and often does in order to open up the corner for Cook on sweeps and stretch plays.

Pro Bowl voting opened this week, and the Vikings should be making a concerted effort to get many players there, but they should especially push for Ham to make it. Ham has a great story, and the approval of former Viking, and the last Vikings fullback to make a pro bowl, Jerome Felton.

You can vote for your favorite Vikings, including Ham, at: http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot.

 

 

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Kirby O'Connor

Kirby O'Connor is a graduate of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, where he studied Electronic Publishing and minored in Art. Kirby is a lifelong, die-hard Vikings fan thanks to his father. You can find him on Twitter @kjocon14.

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