Grading FB Kyle Juszczyk’s re-signing with the 49ers: B+

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Doug Farrar
·2 min read
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Last season, only the Patriots lined up in “21” personnel (two running backs, one tight end, and two receivers) more often than the 49ers, which is typical of Kyle Shanahan’s mindset. Shanahan believes in the intrinsic value of two-back sets in the passing game as much as in the run game, and last season, out of “21,” the 49ers threw the ball 40% of the time for seven touchdowns and two interceptions, and a passer rating of 102.3, per Sharp Football Stats.

This is why Shanahan signed fullback Kyle Juszczyk to a four-year, $21 million deal in 2017, and it’s why the team has doubled down with a new five-year, $27 million contract, which the 49ers made official on Monday.

“Kyle is a unique football player whose versatility, leadership and skillset are a tremendous fit with us,” general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “He has been integral to the success of our offense the last four seasons and his contributions on the field are just a portion of the value he brings to our team. Kyle has helped to establish a standard for our team on the field, in the locker room and in the community. We couldn’t be prouder to reward him with this well-deserved contract extension. Welcome back Juice!”

Selected by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of Harvard, Juszczyk has benefited from his presence in two of the more prominent offenses when it comes to heavy personnel, and he’s made five straight Pro Bowls as a result. Juszczyk caught just 19 passes for 202 yards and four touchdowns last season, but that’s not specifically why the 49ers value him — he’s a great blocker, and he adds a ton to Shanahan’s highly effective pre-snap motion concepts. There are NFL teams that wouldn’t throw five dollars at a fullback, but in this offense, Juszczyk is as good as they come.