In this day and age where the fullback position is a rare breed among NFL circles, John Conner was supposed to be the bowling ball bruiser who could create opportunities for his running mates like former Jet Tony Richardson. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistent play plagued Conner’s time with New York and the team decided to severe ties with The Terminator this past October. His replacement, former Dolphins fullback Lex Hilliard, was unspectacular for the most part. Hoping to add another dimension to Mornhinweg’s West Coast Offense, the Jets drafted Wake Forest fullback Tommy Bohanon.
So, Who Exactly Is He?
Weight: 246 pounds
225-pound Bench: 36
40-yard dash: 4.88
20-yard shuttle: 4.42
Arm Length: 33 ⅛″
Hand Length: 10″
Birthday: September 10, 1990
The Floridian native played at North Fort Myers High School as a linebacker and fullback. As a sophomore he recorded 69 tackles and 3 sacks at the linebacker position en route to the Red Knights’ district championship. He became more involved on the offensive side of the ball when fellow running back and teammate Noel Devine graduated. His junior year, Bohanon led the team in tackles while rushing for 623 yards and 9 touchdowns. He added 193 yards and 4 touchdowns on 50 carries as a senior. Bohanon accumulated all-district, all-conference and all-area honors in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He was named the 13th best fullback prospect in the nation and rated a three star prospect by Rivals.
Narrowing his choices to Michigan State, Louisville, and Wake Forest, Bohanon chose the latter. He saw some playing time as a true freshman finishing the year with 51 yards on 16 carries and added 8 receptions for 66 yards. However, his primary responsibilities throughout his tenure were as a blocker. In 2010, Bohanon appeared in all twelve games for the Demon Deacons while starting four of the contests. He had 17 carries for 77 yards and was tied for fourth on the team with 11 receptions. In 2011, he played 13 games while seeing his starts total increase to six. He finished the year with 15 carries for 31 yards and two touchdowns in addition to 9 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. In 2012, Bohanon’s skills as a pass catcher shone brightly as his rushing total was limited to two carries for 1 yard and a touchdown in comparison to his 23 receptions for 208 yards and five touchdowns.
Bohanon’s body was made for blocking, an area he was very productive in at Wake Forest. He has shown to be a very competitive player and is willing to deliver punishing hits on would-be defenders. He can make blocks all over the field whether it be as the lead blocker, down the field, anywhere. A lot of his value rests in his pass catching abilities which are very sound however, he is also a proficient runner and is diligent when it comes to following his blockers. Ball security is also a trademark of his game. Overall, he’s a lunchpale-type player who plays to the whistle. He doesn’t always block consistently to the best of his abilities largely due to inconsistent technique.
Following Wake Forest’s Pro Day, NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt had nothing but good things to say about Bohanon but questioned what his value will be worth at the NFL level. “Bohanon looked good in the workouts, and caught the ball well,” Brandt said. “This is a talented fullback, but the nature of his position in the NFL hinders his value at the next level.”
Bohanon had an excellent showing at the Senior Bowl and having played with general manager John Idzik’s son, Brad, at Wake Forest he was in constant communication with the Jets leading up to the NFL Draft. The Jets love his pass catching and blocking abilities and is an overall high character person that will add a lot to the Jets’ locker room. His versatility is also appealing to Mornhinweg’s scheme which emphasizes pass catchers out the backfield. Given the depth at other positions, there may only be room for one fullback in which case I would give the edge to Bohanon. Even without watching him step on the field, I feel very confident in his abilities in comparison to Hilliard and I believe he can build upon his successful college career with New York.