College Eagles ~ 5115/228
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 ~ Moderate.
Processing Speed ~ Mediocre. Sometimes he sees what's developing before it does, but not very often, it seems.
Blocking ~ Excellent. Tremendous Core Power and strong Mechanics.
Receiving ~ Marginal.
He doesn't waste time getting to the Hole, but if it's only open for an Instant, he probably won't make it.
He is not sluggish, in and out'f'is Breaks, but neither is he by any means Explosive.
Sometimes he sees how the Tactical LandScape is going to unfold, but often he does not.
He's consistently tough to bring down on initial Contact, though.
And he's a damned good Blocker.
All in all, though, Andre Williams strikes me as a decent Hard Yard Masher ~ guy who'll beef it up between the Tackles for you and punish Defenses, late in a Game. But I don't see much in the way of Field Vision in the way he Navigates the Field, and while his Agility isn't bad, I expect that he'll find eluding Defenders at The Next Level considerably more difficult...And of course he is no Threat whatsoever in the Passing Game.
I'm certainly not going to say that in the right situation ~ with an outstanding Offensive Line, to be exact ~ that he wouldn't be Productive, because I believe that he would. But I've long since held that FlexBacks and HalfBacks of considerable Potential Impact are almost invariably available late in the Draft and Beyond.
Therefore, in order to justify spending extensive Draft Capital on an HalfBack, I would have to believe that he oozes Potential Dominance...And in my Perception, that is simply not the case, here.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value