Mountaineers ~ 5116/213
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. Plays way too high way too often and looks stiff as Hell cutting out'f'is Breaks.
Processing Speed ~ Superior. Seems to read the Field well most of the time.
Blocking ~ Adequate. Good Effort, but again the Core Power & Fluidity don't seem to be there.
Receiving ~ Excellent. Developed an impressive Repertoire of Routes at Planet Hoosten.
Ah, well. Wouldn't be the first time, would it?
On the face of it, Charlie Sims is the kind of Prospect that I rave about: a genuine Dual Threat.
A dangerous Weapon in either the Passing or the Running Game.
The 21st Century Version of the erstwhile HalfBack: a FlexBack.
And there is much to like about'is Game: He's an exceptionally well-developed Receiver, quite possibly the most refined FlexBack in this entire Draft Class. He runs Routes more efficiently than many WideOuts, in fact.
And he does exhibit impressive Acceleration, often surging past two or three Defenders at a time.
However, I have serious doubts about how well he's going to be able to navigate Traffic at The Next Level. It seems to me that he runs too high and too stiffly to be consistently effective, and that while his impressive Acceleration should allow him some Success, it'll be inconsistent and he'll get jammed for little Gain far too often.
I'll continue to mull this one over for the next few months, but as of now it seems to me that his most likely Future will be as what is euphemistically referred to as "3rd Down Back." There's no shame in that, if that indeed proves to be the case: I have long held that the notion of a "Bell Cow Back" is one of the stupider ones I've ever known.
HalfBacks & FlexBacks are much more likely to be consistently effective if they're not beaten to death.
But I suspect that Sims will prove to be much more effective as a Receiver than as a Runner: A proficient Receiver but quite possibly a mediocre Runner. And if so, Versatility without exceptional Performance, while still valuable, mind you, is of course not a Premium Value, and I will ~ for now ~ grade him accordingly.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value