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Bengals think Ryan Hewitt may be NFL's best fullback

Ryan Hewitt may become the poster child for what the next generation of NFL fullbacks resemble.

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Bengals have the best fullback in football?

They apparently think so, as Geoff Hobson noted in his most recent article, saying, "There are people in the building who think he’s already the NFL’s best fullback after his rookie season."

An undrafted free agent out of Stanford last year, Hewitt fought his way onto the final 53-man roster after a training camp battle with Nikita Whitlock. He went on to have a productive rookie season, grading out as the No.5 FB in 2014 by Pro Football Focus. From Week 9 to the end of the regular season, Hewitt was the No. 2 FB behind only 49ers Pro-Bowler Bruce Miller.

Hewitt also became a legitimate pass-catching threat down the stretch with seven receptions for 68 yards over the final five games. He did that on just 10 targets, and should get more looks in 2015 if he lines up at tight end more than he did in 2014.

It's easy to see how the Bengals already think they have one of the better FBs in the NFL, and after a solid rookie season, maybe he will become the best there is in Year 2.

Make no mistake about it though: Hewitt being one of, if not the best FB in football is more of a statement as to how far the position has fallen. Hewitt would never measure up to true road-graders like Lorenzo Neal, Tony Richardson, Vonta Leach and Ahmard Hall of the past decade.

Hewitt resembles what the new generation FB looks like: Good-but-not-great blockers who can also catch passes, operating more like an H-back than a true FB.