Packers FB Henry Pearson has opportunity this summer

With Josiah Deguara now in Jacksonville, there is a big opportunity ahead this summer for second-year player Henry Pearson, who could be the top competitor for the H-back role within the Packers’ offense.

Both Deguara and Pearson were listed on the Packers roster last year as fullbacks. But Deguara’s role within the offense, more specifically, was as the H-back.

This was a role last season that, with the emergence of Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft, resulted in Deguara playing around 15 or so snaps per game during the second half of the season.

However, the H-back is a role that’s needed in the Matt LaFleur offense, where versatility is key. Having an H-back who can line up all over the formation and make an impact as both a blocker and a pass-catcher adds a layer of unpredictability to the offense and can lead to mismatches for either the H-back or others to exploit.

Pearson went undrafted in 2023 and signed with the Packers right after that draft. He played tight end at Appalachian State, where he had plenty of reps as a blocker, and caught 74 career passes at 12.1 yards per reception with 11 scores.

As already mentioned, Pearson and Deguara were listed as fullbacks last season, and unlike in 2022, these two spent the first portion of practices last summer going through individual fullback – or H-back – drills, away from the other tight ends.

Pearson would spend most of the 2023 season on the practice squad but did appear in Weeks 12 and 13, primarily on special teams, as a game-day elevation.

During the team drill portion of rookie minicamp this past weekend, Pearson – who was one of several 2023 practice squad players in attendance – made several receptions.

“Henry’s a guy, he always busts his butt,” said LaFleur after Friday’s practice. “I think there’s a great opportunity for everybody here, quite frankly. And that’s one of the things that we talked to the team about.

“It doesn’t matter, first-rounder, UDFA, if you’re a tryout guy, you ‘re here for a reason. You got an opportunity and it’s really on them to go out there and showcase what they can do and you got two days to leave a pretty good impression.”

As of now, Pearson is the only fullback listed on the Packers’ roster. However, perhaps they give Tyler Davis an opportunity to fill that H-back role, with his athleticism and blocking experience. AJ Dillon could be another option who, with his well-rounded skill set, could provide competition at H-back.

Ultimately, there is still a long way to go before anything is determined. But Pearson is positioned well with his experience gained over the last year, along with how the roster is constructed to seize the opportunity that lies ahead with the do-it-all H-back job up for grabs.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire