I design my NomenClature with a mind not whither a Prospect's future Teams might deploy'm ~ what "Positions" ~ but with a mind towards breaking down the myriad of Skill Sets that a vast array of Prospects bring to the Field of Battle.
Whither NFL Coaches deploy these Players is entirely a different matter, one that I leave up to their Expertise.
I consolidate my Scouting Reports accordingly, and include explanations for my Perceptions.
But I thought it would be useful to provide an easily accessible Reference:
QuarterBacks ~ This is of course Self Evident, but I wonder if most Fans know that a description of the Skill Set that I refer to as "QuarterBack" would've been vastly different an hundred Years ago? The QuarterBack's first Job, once upon a time, was once Blocking, and even to this very day, Triple Option Offenses ~ not to be confused with the Dual Option Offenses of Oregon & PhilaDelphia ~ employ QuarterBacks far differently than we see on Sundays. Indeed, one could make a strong Argument that I should split QuarterBacks into two Categories ~ Classic Pocket Passers and Option QuarterBacks.
Currently, I consider the most crucial Aspects of either QuarterBack's Skill Sets to be too similar to warrant such a Divergence, but if the Strategic LandScape changes significantly, you can be sure that I will, as well.
Centers ~ It's interesting that there're Offensive Guards and Defensive Guards as well as Offensive Tackles and Defensive Tackles ~ to say nothing of "Backs" and "Ends" of all sorts on both sides of the Line of Scrimmage ~ but no Defensive Center, eh? But there actually used to be, back when all Players played on both Offense and Defense!!
Offensive Guards ~ I employ this term precisely as everyone else does, though I stress: It's a Skill Set, not a Position. As with Centers and Offensive Tackles, you could make a strong Argument that one could easily break things down into Speed Guards and Power Guards, but I don't wish to fracture things so far that it bogs people down.
Offensive Tackles ~ I employ this term precisely as everyone else does. Perhaps at some point, I will distinguish between Power Linemen and Speed Linemen within the Skill Set Group, without splitting them asunder. That might provide more enjoyable Navigation for my Fellow FootBall Fanatics, while offering a more refined structural format of Skill Sets.
Tight Ends ~ Classical Tight Ends who have the Frame to consistently line up on the Line of Scrimmage and block. This is a Skill Set that encompasses a vast arc of Talent, from Blocking Specialists with FootBall-Retardant Hands to Dynamic Weapons like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6050/260.
Flex Ends ~ This term is 100% FootBall, so I must confess that I am at a loss as to why intelligent men prefer using such awful, idiotic terms as "Move" Tight End. I can feel myself getting stupider, just typing those words, and I can ill afford that. Flex End is my term for that Hybrid who's too small to line up on the Line of Scrimmage, but too tall to line up in the BackField as a WingBack and too big to be considered a WideOut. The Prototype would be about 6030/245.
WingBacks ~ This term is also 100% FootBall, and is vastly superior to horrible terms like "H-Back", which make my Brain ache and fill me with Homicidal Rage. WingBacks are not En Vogue, yet, and may well never be, for I do not presume to expect mere Earthlings to match my lofty Vision, but a WingBack specs out as a combination Tight End, Flex End, and FullBack Super Hybrid, who can Pass Block on the Line of Scrimmage, Lead Block from the BackField, flex out in the Passing Game, and run the Ball more than a little. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6000/250.
Split Ends ~ These are the taller WideOuts. The Beefier, the better, because at least one Wide Out generally needs to line up on the Line of Scrimmage and beat the Press. The Prototype would be about 6030/225 or more.
Flankers ~ FlankerBacks, in fact. These are the faster WideOuts. The Prototype would be about 6000/200.
SlotBacks ~ These are the smaller, quicker WideOuts. Any WideOut ~ or any FootBall Player, for that matter ~ can be lined up anywhere on any given Snap, but SlotBacks are named for a reason, of course. Quickness is important to any of FootBall's Skill Sets, but crucial to the SlotBack. The Prototype would be around 5010/195 or less.
PowerBacks ~ These are the HalfBacks who's best Work is done Between The Tackles. Optimally, they are also adept Pass Catchers, but that's up to the Coaches. The Prototype would be around 5115/220 or so.
SpeedBacks ~ These are the HalfBacks who's best Work is done outside the Tackles, though it goes without saying that the capacity to thrive from SideLine to SideLine is desirable in any HalfBack, regardless of where his Strength lies. It's particularly crucial that SpeedBacks can catch the Ball. The Prototype would be around 5010/200, give or take.
FlexWings ~ You might even call them "FlyBacks". These are guys so small that even the diminutive SlotBacks dwarf them. I do not characterize them either as WideOuts nor as HalfBacks: They fall somewhere in between. They are too small to Block, but when they have the Ball, their Size is actually an Advantage. Optimally, they are a Threat both in the Passing Game and in the Running Game, otherwise: Why have'm? The Prototype would be about 5075/175 or less.
Throughout the FootBall World, Defenses are in the process of undergoing spectacular Disruption and Revolution. Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and multiple Fronts.
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Grizzlies ~ This is my terminology for the larger, beefier Defensive Tackles, many of whom often see a lot of Snaps at Nose Tackle. Unlike Gorillas, they're not lengthy enough or fast enough for the classic Defensive End gig to be an optimal Deployment, but nowadays can be lined up anywhere. The Prototype'd be about 6015/325 or so.
Wolves ~ Wolves are the smaller, faster Defensive Tackles. Whereas Grizzlies will generally be counted on to command Double Teams and stop the Inside Run, Wolves will usually be asked to penetrate the Pocket and disrupt, especially against the Pass. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6015/300 or less, and they're getting smaller.
Yetis ~ I wanted to go with "Gorillas", but there's too much lingering Stigma with that. Yetis have the Size of Nose Tackles but the WingSpan of Defensive Ends. As such, they are genuine Hybrids, and can conceivably line up anywhere from Tackle to Tackle, across from the Offensive Line. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6050/325 or so.
Lions ~ This is my term for Defensive Linemen with the Size of a smaller and faster Defensive Tackle and the WingSpan of a Defensive End. Like the Gorillas, they can line up at End in a 34 or at Tackle in a 43, or just about anywhere in either Formation, and conceivably play either 1 Gap or 2 Gap. The Prototype would be about 6050/300 or less.
Dragons ~ This is my terminology for Players who may've played either Defensive End or what you Earthlings call "OutSide LineBacker" in College, and who in any case possess the Size to player either at the next level. They would generally be deployed as Ends in a 43 or as "OutSide LineBackers" in a 34, and have even been known to get deployed as Interior Rushers in the Nascar Package. The Prototype would generally be somewhere around 6050/265 or so.
Bandits ~ This is my term, derived from Defensive Schemes, for Players who possess the WingSpan for the Defensive Line but who, unlike Dragons, lack the Size to play there regularly, because they can't be expected to Anchor against the Run. They are consequently the right Size to play MidFielder, and can generally do so, but I believe are best employed as Wild Cards, deployed all over the Formation, from Snap to Snap, usually in the murky, undefined region between the Defensive Line and the MidFielders, usually standing up, and often giving no clue as to what their Intentions are. I believe that the Bandit, whatever he's called in a given Formation, stands squarely in the center of the disruptive Changes that Defensive Formations are undergoing today. Their unique combination of Size & Speed offers precisely that Wild Card Variable that I believe is potentially priceless for Defenses to compete and indeed to excel in the incessantly and rapidly evolving Strategic LandScape of the 21st Century. The Prototype would be around 6030/245 or so, I'd say.
MidFielders ~ This is in fact my collective term for all of what you Earthlings refer to as "LineBackers", a term that I consider moderately insulting to the Players in question. The reason I'm employing a collective term ~ at least for now ~ is that I believe that the Skill Sets for any of the 3 or 4 Jobs designate therein are remarkably similar, though their Duties are certainly considerably divergent. The Prototype for any MidFielder would be about 6000/240 or thereabouts.
Gryphons ~ The Gryphon of ancient Egyptian Lore is an Hybrid of a Lion and an Eagle, and thus I believe an utterly perfect term for an emerging Role ~ and the attendant Skill Set ~ that I believe is going to become of enormous Importance in the Decades to come: The Hybrid MidFielder/RoverBack ~ that's "LineBacker/Strong Safety" to you Earthlings. The Base Formation is rapidly approaching Extinction: The Sub Package Is The New Base, Ladies & Laddies!! The next Development in the Eternal War between Offense and Defense may very well be an 11th Player ~ that same MidFielder/RoverBack Hybrid ~ playing Full Time!! The Prototype would be about 6000/225, I'd say.
Rovers ~ RoverBack is my term for what Earthlings refer to as "Strong Safeties". I don't find the employment of "Safety" as a moniker for a Position to be nearly as demeaning as "LineBacker", mind you, but it's still a pretty lame term for a Gladiator, if you ask me. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6000/210, or thereabouts.
CenterFielders ~ This is my term for "Free Safeties", but I should add that I perceive this Role to be changing dramatically as Defenses are rapidly evolving into Base Nickel Packages ~ 245's and such, such as I'd anticipated a few Years ago with my Article on Amorphous Defenses: I look at the CenterFielders very much as Hybrids who are as likely to be required to play a CornerBack's Role as that of CenterFielder. The Prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
NickelBacks ~ I initially looked to grade all NickelBacks based on their Ability to perform the Hybrid Duties of CenterFielder ~ to act as a Last Line of Defense as a CenterFielder does when they're not in Direct Coverage ~ but upon further review don't believe that it's fair to grade Spry Flies on a Role of which Run Defense is a substantial part. And considering that deploying 3 pure Corners is a very common and reasonable Tactic, and that many such Corners are NickelBacks, it became clear to me that they deserve their own Category. The Prototype would be about 5090/185 or so.
CornerBacks ~ I find it quite amusing that the very last Skill Set on my list is the only Defensive Skill Set ~ so far!! ~ for whom I haven't adapted or invented a new Term. The Prototype would be about 6000/195.