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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: FB Ben Mason

  • The Draft Network
  • January 10, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – BEN MASON

Ben Mason is one of a dying breed: a true fullback prospect in the year 2020. Mason does offer more than just lead blocking skills—he’s been a special teams contributor throughout the course of his time in Ann Arbor and those reps will prove to be valuable in his bid to make a 53-man roster. Mason should be regarded as a short-yardage and 20 series specialist at the pro level, which will whittle the field of interested teams a fair bit. But any team committed to I-formation and two-back sets will see the appeal in his game and find peace knowing he’ll man the kick coverage units as well. 

Ideal Role: Short-yardage specialist.

Scheme Fit: Multi-back, multi-TE offenses.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by: Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Michigan State (2020), Minnesota (2020), Penn State (2020), Wisconsin (2020)

Best Game Studied: Minnesota (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Wisconsin (2020)

Vision: There’s very little value in his ball-carrier skills. When he’s commanded touches on short yardage, he simply drives into the back of his blocks and attempts to churn his feet. 

Footwork: He shows good leg drive and foot activity to readjust his base on blocks. He does well to avoid lunging into his blocks. Short-area adjustments are effective but not overly fluid; he’s still a straight-line athlete. 

Contact Balance: Mason is a bull in short yardage and tight windows. Teams looking to uproot a filling linebacker or kick out on an end man on the line of scrimmage will find their desired push here. His strike zone is narrow, however. If he tries to dislodge defenders in his peripheral range he loses most of his push. 

Durability: Mason has played nearly 50 games for the Wolverines. Getting him on the field won’t be a problem and with a specialist role at the NFL level, he figures to be a weekly fixture on teams and in specific situations.

Explosiveness: Mason is powerful but he’s a slow-twitch, one-speed athlete who is not going to create wins for himself outside of structure or create favorable angles for himself as a blocker out of the backfield. 

Versatility: Mason has actually been put in a position to take on more snaps during his time at Michigan. He's spent some time on the defensive line in addition to his reps on both offense and special teams. While he wouldn’t warrant defensive reps in the NFL, it serves as a testament to his toughness and physicality. 

Elusiveness: Mason doesn’t bother with wiggle or finesse—he’s a straight-up hammer and looks to punish defenders in the hole or ball-carriers on special teams. 

Ball Security: Mason logged just 40 career touches of the football over his four seasons at Michigan, but showed no ineffectiveness in observed reps. He has a very limited role and ceiling, but he can be relied upon on tendency-breaking calls to the fullback in short yardage. 

Passing Down Skills: Mason has three career receptions, two of which came in 2020. He’s done fairly well on his limited touches to maximize yardage as a leak option out of the backfield. His ability to create added yardage or defeat man coverage, however, isn’t going to move the needle. 

Discipline: He stays on his blocking tracks and will be a reliable lead blocker for a ball-carrier to fall in line behind. He’s very literal with his touches—give him the ball and he’s going to hit a designed gap and hope to fall forward or push the pile. 

Prospect Comparison: Patrick Ricard (2017 NFL Draft, UDFA)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 66/100

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