NFL Draft Profile: Fullback Nikita Whitlock

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Can the star nose tackle make the transition to fullback?

Pro Day Numbers

5'10" 251 pounds

40 yard dash - 4.82 seconds

Bench press - 43 reps of 225 pounds

Broad jump - 9 feet

Shuttle run - 4.34 seconds

Cone drill - 6.91 seconds

College Production

Nikita Whitlock spent four years at Wake Forest anchoring the front three on the defensive line, but due to concerns about his height he began working out as a fullback in the offseason with a variety of teams to enhance his draft stock. Over four years at Wake, Nikita played in 46 games, recorded 229 total tackles, 20 sacks, 47 tackles for loss, forced five fumbles, recovered one, and deflected five passes. Whitlock leaves Wake Forest as one of the most productive, and perhaps greatest, defensive lineman in Demon Deacon history.

Strengths

Whitlock did 43 reps on the bench press at Wake Forest's Pro Day, which is more than any player who attended the NFL Combine. Additionally Whitlock has incredible quickness and speed for his size, finishing just behind Michael Campanaro in the cone drill and putting up a solid 4.84 40 yard dash at 250 pounds. Whitlock will likely be able to be transformed into a stodgy, dependable blocker out of the backfield who is able to open up holes for the back behind him.

Weaknesses

Nikita's biggest weakness as a defensive tackle - his size - could ultimately end up benefiting him in the NFL, but his lack of experience at the position presents a large hurdle for him to clear in order to be a productive NFL player. Additionally the fullback position has seen a bit of transformation over the previous few years in the league and has evolve dinto more of a hybrid running back/fullback position rather than merely a blocking position. Nikita's hands and ball carrying ability will be scrutinized by teams looking to snag him and ultimately this will likely dictate his draft position - or lack thereof.

Projected Round

Round 7/Undrafted Free Agent

Teams of Best Fit

Teams who are looking to utilize a fullback in a more traditional manner are more likely to look at Nikita than teams who have more four receiver sets. Nikita will likely go in either the final round of the draft or be picked up as an undrafted free agent. The jury is still out on whether it's better to be drafted late or sign with the team of your choice.

Would you want your favorite team to draft Nikita Whitlock?

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