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Tom Brady calls James Develin the best fullback in the NFL


The fullback position is an endangered species in the NFL. But Tom Brady says that when the Patriots do line up in a formation that features a fullback, they’ve got the best in the NFL.

Brady said today that New England’s James Develin is the best fullback in football and ought to get more recognition for what he does for the Patriots.

“I love James and I think he’s the best fullback in the league,” Brady said. “He doesn’t get as much credit for it because he doesn’t get as many opportunities, but any time we call on him he delivers.”

Develin was only on the field for about a quarter of the Patriots’ offensive snaps during the regular season, and he only touched the ball nine times. But he delivered in the AFC Championship Game with a touchdown catch, and Brady says that Develin delivers every time he’s on the field, whether he’s getting the ball or (much more often) blocking.

“He really, at that position, can bring a significant element of toughness because you’re blocking for the guy with the ball, and he takes a lot of pride in that,” Brady said. “Hopefully he gets some opportunities on Sunday and hopefully we make the most of them.”

Develin rarely gets the opportunity to do anything more than block. But even if that’s all he does, the Patriots know that’s a lot.