SpeedBack ~ Antwan Goodley ~ Baylor Bears 5103/210
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: Mediocre. Mediocre Fluidity and Ricochet out'f'is Breaks. Impressive Acceleration, though.
Field Vision: Exceptional and potentially outstanding. For a guy who hasn't played HalfBack since High School, he exhibits a remarkable capacity to Rapidly Read and React to the Roiling, Boiling LandScape in front'f'm, and it's easy to imagine that if he returns to'is natural Position and get enough Time & Training, his Field Vision will improve even more.
Receiving: Ahhh. Here is the Irony, though a predictable one, as I see it: Grading'm as a WideOut, I believe that Goodley is a Raw Route Runner with mediocre Catch Point Capacities and therefore a dubious Future. But in applying the far less demanding Standards that an HalfBack must meet in order to contribute significantly to the Passing Game, Goodley's mediocre Skill Set translates far more favorably: An HalfBack's Route Tree's Complexity is a fraction of that which a WideOut must grapple, and while he'll need to improve the Hands, he's almost certain to do so, simply by virtue of acclimating to far simpler and shorter Routes. In other words, Goodley's the Receiving Aspect of Goodley's Game, translating from a WideOut's marginal Game, is already Impressive and with Potential to become Outstanding!!
I'm not enamored with his Prospects as a WideOut. His Routing Skills, grading'm as a WideOut, are incredibly raw, and his Catch Point Capacity is equally shaky. And I could unearth no particular reason to believe that he possesses either the all-consuming Drive or the Brilliant Brain for'm to be a good Bet to overcome these enormous Liabilities.
I'd be giving'm a UFA Grade as a WideOut, frankly.
But when one projects'm as a SpeedBack...he becomes more intriguing.
Mind you: I don't expect that Goodley'll transform into a dangerous and dynamic Weapon if he returns to'is natural Role. His Fluidity and Ricochet are not impressive, and I don't foresee'm exploding out'f Breaks, slipping and sliding, and twisting and turning his way to massive Yardage...But he brings exceptional Core Power and Field Vision to the BattleField, accelerates quickly to the second level...and brings a legitimate Receiving Threat out'f the BackField.
It is the combination of those things, you see, that intrigues me. I can imagine Goodley and his Offense Making Hay All Day, running Draw Plays where he rockets up the middle for Chunk Yardage, clobbering unsuspecting MidFielders on the way, Staying Home in Play Action, where he's got the Frame to become an exceptional Blocker...and occasionally slipping through the Lines, snatching a short pass, and barreling through a CornerBack or three for another Big Gain.
I presume nothing of the Future, but, yeah: That particular combination of Skills intrigues me. He'll need Time & Training, of course, but the Learning Curve is not so steep at that Position, and he already knows half of the Job.
There's Risk of The Unknown, of course, but there's always that Risk...And if Goodley were to Make Good on that Potential, he would bring a substantial Hybrid Threat to the Field of Battle on every Snap.
Of course there's no way in Hell that anyone's going to do what I'm suggesting, here...But that of course is none of my concern. I simply evaluate Prospects on how they ought to be employed and deployed!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!