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Patrick DiMarco, Unsung Hero

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Fullback Patrick DiMarco has been a big part of Atlanta's successful ground game this season, and he's getting plenty of recognition for it.

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Patrick DiMarco has been exceptional this season, and people around the league are taking note.

DiMarco's been featured on three different midseason All-Pro lists so far. ESPN's John Clayton writes:

DiMarco is on the field more than any other fullback (22.8 plays a game), and his impact as a blocker has allowed Devonta Freeman to rush for 721 yards in nine games.

Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus also acknowledged DiMarco as the best fullback through the first half of the season, though he points out that DiMarco's performance was stronger earlier in the season. DiMarco has a +9.0 overall grade from PFF so far this season, so it's clear that he's doing just fine.

There isn't much competition at the top of the rankings, so even though DiMarco hasn't followed up his hot start, he's well ahead of Burton.

And Chris Wesseling at NFL.com had DiMarco listed as his midseason All-Pro fullback, also.

Carolina's Mike Tolbert is the most recognizable fullback because he touches the ball more than other lead-blockers and fans are tickled to witness a man of his carriage moving like a running back. DiMarco deserves the midseason accolades, however, as the pile-driving force consistently paving huge holes for Devonta Freeman.

I told DiMarco about the recognition he was receiving, and his response was, "Awesome. I didn't know that."

With the success Devonta Freeman has had through the first half of the season, though, it's nice for DiMarco, an unsung hero in the run game, to get this recognition.

DiMarco, not surprisingly, gave plenty of credit for his success to his teammates.

"Well, it's not just me," DiMarco said. "I have a great backfield behind me and the line up front, and I'm just glad to be a part of something special here in Atlanta, and hopefully we'll continue to build on it."

DiMarco's not just contributing offensively, either. He's a key component of Atlanta's special teams efforts. PFF has given DiMarco a +2.0 for special teams play so far this season. DiMarco's four special teams tackles are tied with Jalen Collins for second on the team behind Nate Stupar with six.

If you want a look at what DiMarco is like on the field, be sure to check out his Mic'd Up segment this week.