If all goes according to plan, we may see another quality bruiser in the backfield for the next several years. His name is Bradie Ewing.
Oddly enough, no position has a bigger unknown associated with it than fullback. Right tackle has a couple of proven competitors and Lamar Holmes, who offers considerable promise as a third round pick. Defensive end has Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann, and so on. For fullback, it's just Ewing.
Health is going to be a major factor here. Let's take a closer look at the only fullback on the roster.
Starter: Bradie Ewing
The Falcons drafted Bradie Ewing to take over for Ovie Mughelli last year. It was quite an investment for a fullback, but Ewing flashed athleticism, strength and quality blocking chops in college as Peter Konz's teammate.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Ewing got hurt in pre-season and missed the entire year, a heartbreaking scenario for a rookie with an opportunity to seize a starting job and run with it.
Ewing returns in a similar position this year. Mike Cox has not been re-signed, and the Falcons don't have another fullback anywhere on the roster. Jason Snelling can handle those duties in a pinch, but the Falcons would like to have a full-time lead blocker for Steven Jackson, one who might be able to catch a pass or two himself.
Ewing seems capable of doing all of these things, and he'll have every chance to seize the job. The question is of health and actual production, and there things get mighty murky. We simply don't know what Ewing will do in 2013.
The Falcons are going to be a pass-first team, so there's no reason to believe they'll spend a ton of time, effort, money or draft picks trying to address the position. Ewing will get his shot. I just hope he runs with it.