Giants Player Profile | George Aston, Fullback
2019 Season Rewind
George Aston signed with Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2019 with high expectations.
Many people believed that Aston might challenge starting fullback Andy Janovich, then in a contract season, for his spot. That possibility became more realistic when Janovich had to deal with a preseason injury that left Aston as the sole healthy fullback on the roster.
Ultimately Aston fell short of his goal to make the roster and was released in late August when tight end Troy Fumagalli emerged as an option to get more fullback snaps.
In December, the Giants signed Aston to the practice roster, and then they signed him to a futures contract to ensure his place on their 90-man roster.
In 2018 at the University of Pittsburgh, Aston paved the way for the 18th ranked rushing offense in the country. He received Honorable Mention All-ACC recognition for his efforts.
He was used primarily as a blocking back during his senior season with the Panthers, rushing only six times for 10 yards and a touchdown, while totaling 15 receptions for 68 yards and a score.
He missed almost all of 2017 with an injury, but in 2016, Aston was a much bigger offensive weapon for Pittsburgh. He tallied ten total touchdowns (five rushing and five receiving).
He scored two rushing touchdowns in their 42-39 upset of Penn State. He also scored two receiving touchdowns in the team's 43-42 upset of Clemson.
Despite his effectiveness as a blocker and his ability to be a short-yardage/goal-line weapon, can he beat out incumbent Eli Penny, and if so, how much room will there be for a fullback in new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's system?
At Pittsburgh, Aston's value was beyond blocking for running backs, as he was also a special teams ace. He will need to be a significant contributor on special teams if he has any plans for sticking on this roster.
He is going to be battling a bunch of tight ends for a spot on the roster, and right now, his biggest issue is his lack of flexibility.
He is a blocking back but doesn't bring legitimate value as a pass receiver or runner. Tight ends will most likely be able to line up in the backfield, on the wing, in line, or split out. Aston's chances of making the roster only increases if the number of tight ends decreases and if he can top incumbent Eli Penny in executing the same roles.
Two years removed from the lower-body injury that cost him his 2017 season at Pitt if there was a chance for Aston to prove he could be a special teams ace it has to be this season.
He seems like he would be a Joe Judge type of player in that he's a hard-nose and blue-collar type. He also boasts impressive strength--he was the strongest player on Pittsburgh's roster for most of his collegiate career.
Aston, by the way, played linebacker in high school. In his final season at middle linebacker in high school, he averaged 12.7 tackles per game (191 total tackles). This experience should serve him well on special teams
While the offensive scheme doesn't favor his best assets, it doesn't mean he can't be effective on plays like lead zone or power. His hands are good enough to make him a factor in short-yardage play action as well.
He could also be a short-yardage ball carrier, but it is more likely that a tight end will fill those roles. Perhaps the best fit for Aston would be on the practice squad where maybe he is one of the players called up under the new rules, but would the Giants carry a fullback (Penny) on the roster and one on the practice squad? That seems unlikely.