Split End ~ Malachi DuPre ~ Louisiana State Fighting Tigers ~ 6024/196
Split Ends are usually the bigger, taller WideOuts who line up in the X Position, on the Line of Scrimmage.
SlotBacks are usually the quicker, smaller WideOuts who line up at the Y Position, off the Line.
FlankerBacks are usually the faster WideOuts who line up at the Z Position, off the Line.
The Split End prototype would be about 6030/225 or so.
The Flanker prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
The SlotBack prototype would be about 5010/195 or so.
And I'm adding a 4th: The Slot End.
The term may make some Readers cringe, for the same reason that the term "Jumbo Shrimp" might.
And it's a term, as far as I know, entirely of my own Invention.
But it is of course the perfect Tactical term for a WideOut lined up in the Slot yet on the Line of Scrimmage.
And it strikes me as an excellent term to describe a WideOut who's not necessarily tall ~ like a Split End ~ not necessarily fast ~ like a FlankerBack ~ and not necessarily spry ~ like a SlotBack ~ and is often a bit Beefy. Not necessarily beefy enough to take on a Flex End's Blocking Responsibilites, but beefy enough for a Split End's.
I'm talking about WideOuts who're well suited to catch Balls in Traffic, and Move The Chains.
However a given Coach chooses to deploy the Soldiers at his disposal is of course entirely up to him, and most WideOuts will see Snaps at multiple Positions and in multiple Alignments, but I believe that it is valuable to categorize WideOuts in terms of classic Skill Sets, to better define the differences in the kind of Impact they might wield at the next level.
This is how I break things down when I'm evaluating all WideOuts:
Separation: Getting Open. This encompasses Combat Skills & Fluidity to beat Press, Acceleration out'f the Blocks, Fluidity and Ricochet in navigating Traffic, Route Running Precision, the capacity to deceive Defenders, and Field Vision for Timing Seems and Open Zones. All other Aspects of a WideOut's Job Description are dwarfed by this one.
Catch Point Capacity: In Transit or Contested: Hands, WingSpan, Vertical Agility, Combat Skills, and Timing.
Yards After Catch are well and fine, but it seems to me that 90% of the Value of a Flex End and any WideOut is getting open and catching the Ball. Anyone who's read my Work extensively knows that I consider Blocking to be the Heart & Soul of FootBall, but that is a philosophical position, and I recognize that with most Philosophies, where it comes to Wide Receivers and Flex Ends...it's just Gravy. And so is Yards After Catch: Moving The Chains is What Wins.
Chunk Yardage: An highly overrated Aspect of the Game, I believe, so much so that in fact I didn't even include it in 2016. It is not a negligible Aspect of the Game, so I'm bringing it back, but getting open, catching the Ball, and Moving the Chains are far more crucial to a Team's Success, I believe, than making Splash Plays and getting on ESPN HighLights Reels. Power, Fluidity, Ricochet, Speed, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed/Field Vision all play into Chunk Yardage.
Blocking: It was a Mistake to leave this Aspect ~ my very favorite Aspect of FootBall ~ out'f 2016's Flex End Reports, and I'm very happy to correct that Mistake, evermore. Blocking of course comes down to Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor, and further breaks down into In Line Blocking and Open Field Blocking.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Tremendous against Press Coverage, exhibiting extraordinary Core Power and excellent Combat Skills.
His Long Speed appears mediocre, but his Acceleration is impressive. Based on very few Routes where he was asked to change direction quickly or explosively, I'd rate his Ricochet out'f'is Breaks as average, and his Fluidity as effective. I'll definitely be looking for more Tape on that, though, and take a close look at his Combine Numbers.
His Route Running is terms of Deception is only decent, but his Field Vision and Processing Speed, reading and reacting to the Tactical LandScape and anticipating Seems and Open Zones, was exceptional on 2015 Tape.
* Update: I'm gonna Walk this Back all the way to Competitive. His Ricochet and Fluidity out'f'is Breaks are mediocre. He's pretty good at reading and reacting to the Tactical LandScape, though, finding Seems and Open Zones.
Catch Point Capacity: Outstanding.
Let me first say, though, that I am throwing out this Year's Wisconsin Game ~ the only Tape I've been able to view ~ when I say that, and shamelessly reserve the right to pull it right back in and dust it off, should further review ~ of Tapes that I anticipate DraftBreakDown will cut in the future ~ corroborate the horrific display of FootBall-Retardant Hands the he displayed that day!! Holy God, was he awful!! And yet on 2015 Tape, he exhibited tremendous Timing, both In Transition and on Contested Catches, outstanding Combat Skills on Contested Catches, and extraordinary Hands.
And I don't believe that outstanding Catch Point Skills simply disappear. Based on what I've seen'f this Great Game and the Men who play it, it's far more likely that DuPre simply had an horrible Game ~ as many Wisconsin Opponents do ~ than that this was an indication that his Catch Point Skills ~ perhaps due to being exposed to too many errant Passes from Brandon Harris ~ have regressed. We'll see, but for now I'm comfortable giving'm the Benefit of the Doubt.
Chunk Yardage: Effective. Exceptional Field Vision, but moderate Speed with sufficient Power and moderate Agility.
Blocking: Exceptional. In that Wisconsin Game, the lunatic Fighting Tiger Coaches kept bringing DuPre in to Tight End and WingBack to block...and he excelled!! Against the Badgers!! That is a crew of savage Bad Asses, and I would've expected DuPre to get squashed like a bug, at his 189 Pounds, but he displayed phenomenal Core Power.
And, yeah: He's not afraid to get after it.
Interesting Prospect, Malachi DuPre: A Tale of Contrasts.
On the one hand, he was the #1 WideOut Recruit in the Nation in 2014. I'm always suspicious of those guys, wary of Prima Donnas who don't don't the Work, don't block, and don't develop their Route Running Skills.
On the other hand, he stayed with his home Team, being from Louisiana himself, and I always like what that suggests.
Furthermore, his College Career was far more Lunch Pail than Pate, as his Statistics were incredibly mediocre, a result of both Louisiana's Running Offense and of Brandon Harris's horrifically awful Passing.
DuPre's Route Running is kind of sketchy, but while that does indeed raise an eyebrow or two, his Combat Skills against Press Coverage and his Blocking both strongly suggest that there's plenty of Fire in'is belly.
This is going to be a Recon Report with a lot more Beta ~ Potential to Change ~ than most. I want to see what later Season Tapes reveal about his Game, and I want to get a better Idea of his Agility. But as it is, I see a big guy who consistently defeats Press Coverage, often Gets Open, exhibits tremendous Catch Point Capacity, except of course for that horrifying Abomination of a Game against Wisconsin, and makes an Impact as a Blocker in the Running Game.
If he shows that and his Hands return over the latter course of the Year, he'll likely move up.
* Update: Based on my Belief that I'd previously considerably overrated his Fluidity and Ricochet and, thus, his Separation Skills, I'm Walking Back my Ratings on DuPre...but not anywhere near as much as The Market is!! Back in January, both The Market and I gave'm a 2nd/3rd Round Grade, but he ended up plunging precipitously!! I'll update both.
As I see it, he's a bit raw, having been used poorly in Louisiana, and he doesn't appear to be either explosive or smooth...But he is Big, and he's fast enough...and he's outstanding at The Catch Point.
He's also got a good Nose for Seems and Open Zones, so with that, his Size, his tremendous Vertical Agility, and his tremendous Catch Point Capacity, he could be adept at Moving The Chains while he's developing is Routes.
There's Potential, there.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!