Gut Reaction: Mario Fannin

John Fox likes versatility in his running back combinations.   

Enter Mario Fannin.  

Fannin was Auburn's third-string running back last year.  Despite this, he was projected by some to be drafted as high as the 5th round in this year's draft.

Why?  Fannin set the building on fire at the combine with a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 37.5-inch vertical jump.  Those are numbers that Knowshon Moreno would have killed for at his combine. 

Fannin left little doubt that he's a world-class athlete by those measures.  He's also a master of catching the ball out of the backfield and has a knack for the YAC (yards after catch).

If Fannin makes the Broncos' roster, it won't be because of his running ability.  His field vision after getting the handoff has always been his weakest attribute.  It will be because Denver needs a weapon on 3rd-down-and-medium.

Mario Fannin Highlights

Pros: Awesome hands, surprising speed, tricky to bring down in the open field, and is a pass-catching specialist

Cons:  Rarely runs the ball, doesn't read blocks well, limited to 3rd-down situations.

Straight Dope, Homie:  C Buck is gone.  Moreno (according to Paige) is not in favor with the current (or former) regime.  LenDale White is a short-yardage specialist.  Lance Ball isn't spectacular.  This could bode well for Fannin's chances of sticking around.  If I had to make a hugely premature call at this moment, I'd say he sticks.  Denver needs a 3rd-down back, although many have thought that back would be Moreno.  Make room for Fannin.

Feel free to give us your thoughts on Fannin below.

TJ Johnson can be reached through telegraph, ESP, Spanish interpretor, or via email: Follow him on Facebook and Twitter if you want to see him mock "the man."  He assumes you are following It’s All Over Fat Man on Facebook and Twitter, but if you are not, that’s nihilistic, man.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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