Height: 5'11" Weight: 251 lbs
Drafted: Undrafted (2009)
Darrel Young is everything a team wants in a fullback. Like most traditional fullbacks, he's a solid blocker; unlike many traditional fullbacks, Young is a legitimate asset in both the run game and the pass game. He is a tough player that does all the little things well, and just about everybody loves the guy. But a new general manager is running the show now, and with Young's contract up at the end of the season, his time with the Washington Redskins could soon come to an end. Still, most fans hope he stays a Redskin for life.
#1. Young played safety and linebacker at Villanova and, as a linebacker prospect, went undrafted in 2009. He signed with the Redskins that summer and was on and off their practice squad for much of the ensuing season before the Skins signed him for good the next season. He has played on special teams, but otherwise has stuck to offense since coming to Washington.
#2. He played sparingly as a halfback and fullback in 2010, finishing the season with four carries for 19 yards and one catch for three yards, which happened to go for a touchdown. In 2011, Young played in 13 games and emerged as a quality run blocker as well as a receiver in the backfield; he caught 15 passes for 146 yards and had six carries for 33 yards and a touchdown.
He caught two touchdowns and ran a career-high 14 times in 2012 but was used mostly as a lead blocker for then-rookie Alfred Morris, who put together one of the great rookie running back seasons in NFL history. The following season featured more of a compromise between the two backs; as Morris ran for more than 1,200 yards again, Young snatched three of his touchdown runs, all of which came in a Week 9 win against the San Diego Chargers. Young managed just nine carries in 2014, but he picked up another three touchdowns, and he added 11 catches for 81 yards and two more TDs.
#3. DY's three rushing touchdowns last season were more all other fullbacks in the NFL combined — John Kuhn and Frank Summers each ran for one — and his two receiving touchdowns were tied for first among fullbacks. His five total touchdowns were three more than any other fullback in all of football in 2014. Bruce Miller and Jamize Olawale were the only other two who managed multiple touchdowns.
#4. A Redskins fan favorite, Young has also garnered praise off the field. He won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for the team in 2014, and he shared the 2013 Redskins Media Good Guy award with Santana Moss.
#5. Young is one of just 14 Redskins in team history with at least five rushing TDs and five receiving TDs. Of those 14, he has both the fewest carries (138 fewer than anybody else) and the fewest receptions (17 fewer than any other player). The most recent player on that list, excluding Young, is Kelvin Bryant, who retired from the NFL in 1990.
Bottom Line: Darrel Young is a truly versatile player, and not just by fullback standards, as evidenced by the final point above. He'll fly under the radar for 14 games of the season, doing the little things and clearing a path for the primary runners, but then he'll come from nowhere to put a hurting on the opposing defense in one or two games to let everybody know he's still there. But fullback is perhaps the least sexy position in the NFL and teams generally won't break the bank to keep their guy. Scot McCloughan won't let him walk for nothing, but if Young wants to cash in one time before it's too late, he could end up signing elsewhere.