Atlanta’s backfield became even more crowded with the addition of Bradie Ewing, the Wisconsin fullback taken in Round 5. Selecting Ewing came as the biggest surprise of the draft, but when you look at the bigger picture, this pick was likely made for cap room purposes.
Ewing was a walk-on for his first two seasons with the Badgers. As a sophomore he transitioned to fullback, and he became more involved in the offense in each of his next two seasons. In 2011 Ewing was credited with 100 key blocks, 21 down-field blocks and 30 touchdown-resulting blocks.
He comes to Atlanta to join his fellow teammate also drafted this year.
“Pete Konz is a great guy. Obviously, very excited to continue our careers together and be a part of the Falcons organization,” said Ewing. The Falcons haven’t drafted a Big Ten player since 2007, but after seeing the success Wisconsin experienced, these two guys fit in perfectly.
“I just got a chance to talk to the coaches a little bit. Obviously, they called me for the draft pick. We were just very excited; just kind of shared our thoughts and our excitement and looking forward to the future,” said Ewing about his future role with the Falcons. “But we didn’t really talk much about game plan, but I’m excited to get into the playbook and go from there.”
The Falcons’ game plan might be to cut one of the fullbacks already on the roster.
Ovie Mughelli is a fan favorite in Atlanta. He’s been a huge part of the run game’s success in the past, but unfortunately it looks like he might be on his way out.
Mughelli’s cap hit is close to $4 million this year, a high figure for a fullback these days. The logical answer here appears to be that Ewing was drafted so that cap can be cleared up.
“I think I’m a very versatile player. I think, obviously, I can do all the things the traditional fullback can do, as far as blocking from the backfield and all that stuff. But I think I have phenomenal hands,” said Ewing when asked about what he brings to the table. “I can catch out of the backfield, I can be split out and I can play special teams. Even in a crunch, I think I could play some running back. I did that in college and in high school, so I think my versatility.”
No one will be happy to see Mughelli go, but it seems like an impending move with the addition of Ewing.