SpeedBack ~ Alexander Collins ~ Nebraska
CornHuskers ~ 5100/216
I've come to believe that any HalfBack that doesn't bring a Passing Game element to the BattleField is...incomplete.
Hence, the term "FlexBack" ~ although quite cool, I believe!! ~ short-circuits the Evaluation Process.
As to how I break them down, I expect that the terms are pretty self-explanatory:
PowerBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work between the Tackles..
SpeedBacks ~ HalfBacks who do their best Work outside the Tackles.
The PowerBack prototype would be about 5115/220 or so.
The SpeedBack prototype would be about 5010/200 or so.
Those are gross oversimplifications, of course, and many HalfBacks will manifest Attributes of both styles. Indeed, Power and Speed ~ better yet: Agility ~ are crucial to the Success of either kind of HalfBack. But I believe that it advances the discussion and better serves my Fellow FootBall Fanatics if I make an effort to distinguish between types.
This is how I break things down, when evaluating all HalfBacks:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Upper body Power is important, but lower body Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. An HalfBack's Capacity to break Tackles is more about Core Power than anything else.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Fluidity, Acceleration, and Ricochet. Long Speed is all well and good, but at the end of the day, it is Gravy. What wins Championships is Moving The Chains. And Moving The Chains is accomplished far more consistently by the guys who exhibit the Agility ~ and the Focus ~ to consistently pick up 5 and sometimes 10 Yards at a time.
Processing Speed: Diagnostic Velocity. Field Vision. That ethereal Capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Rapidly Roiling & Boiling Tactical LandScape...and to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
Blocking: Having an HalfBack who doesn't Block effectively is like having 10 Men on the Field of Battle. Most HalfBacks just coming out'f College are mediocre Blockers, but this is a crucial Aspect of the Game that they'll need to master.
Receiving: Whether he be a PowerBack or a SpeedBack, an HalfBack that can effectively present a genuine Threat in the Passing Game dramatically increases his Team's Options on any given Play. The more dynamic the Threat, the more valuable to'is Team on the Field of Battle, whether he's just slipping out'f the BackField or splitting out Wide.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power is most of it. Tyrannosaurus Rex would've made an Hell of an HalfBack.
* Torso Power doesn't hurt, though.
* Launch Velocity
* Long Speed
* That ethereal Capacity to foresee and envision Lanes developing before they actually do.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Agility: Exceptional. Mediocre Long Speed, but impressive Acceleration, exceptional Fluidity, and excellent Ricochet.
Field Vision: Exceptional. Collins anticipates Lanes quickly, effectively, and consistently.
Blocking: Effective. Mediocre Core Power, but excellent Combat Skills and an Appetite for Contact.
Receiving: Mediocre. Exceptional Agility, but inconsistent Hands.
Demerit: Collins has serious Fumbling Issues.
If Collins doesn't rapidly develop better Form, handling the FootBall, he's gonna have a very short Career, because Teams are gonna look at that and his sluggish Long Speed and instantly forget'm...But as my Long Time Loyal Readers know ~ both'f ya!! Hah!! ~ I don't give a Rat's Ass about Long Speed, and in fact have long argued not only that Short Speed, Ricochet, Fluidity, and enough Power are what Move The Chains and are therefore far more crucial to Success than HighLight Reel Speed...but that HighLight Reel Speed should actually be considered a Red Flag, both because Mother Nature tends to balance things off ~ those who Zoom can rarely Boom, and Vice Versa!! ~ and because having that explosive capacity all too often tempts young Players to ignore the little things and cripples their Development.
And yes: I am King of The Run On Sentence!!
Collins has a very impressive fusion of Short Speed, Ricochet, Fluidity, and enough Power, and his capacity to rapidly read and react to the Tactical LandScape is exceptional. And he is a ferocious Runner. This is a guy, I believe, who's got the blend of physical, mental, and emotional Attributes to excel at the next level and Move The Chains relentlessly.
He's got big Fumbling Issues, and his Receiving Game is pretty raw, but his exceptional Field Vision speaks to acute Intelligence, and both his Running and his Blocking speak to'is Drive, the combination of which leaves me highly confident that he'll invest the Time & Training he needs to develop those Skills, very confident that he'll develop his Passing Game Skills, and reasonably confident that he'll overcome the Fumbling Issues that've plagued'm for Years.
It amazes me that the League continues to place so much Emphasis on Long Speed, given 150 Years of Evidence strongly suggesting that it's highly overrated...But that means Opportunity for those who see it.
Collins might very well never get the Chance to prove his Potential. My original SuperBinky, Joique Bell, was forced to tour the Outer Fringes of the FootBall Universe, going UFA and hitting no less than 6 Teams on his Tour, before somebody finally wised up and gave'm the Ball...all because of a League-wide preoccupation with his 40 Yard Dash Time!!
And even if he does, his Fumbling Issues will kill'm if he doesn't overcome them.
Having said that: His Fumbling Issues and his raw Receiving Skills are the only real Issues with this kid, and I'm hopeful that he'll overcome the Former and very confident that he'll overcome the Latter. Given Optimum Conditions ~ the Supposition that I apply to all Scouting Reports ~ he carries genuine Risk but enormous Potential.
Complete Failure is possible but so too is his making an immense Impact at the next level...given the Chance.
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!!