PowerBack ~ David Johnson ~ Northern Iowa Panthers ~ 6006/224
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: Sufficient. Impressive Fluidity. Mediocre Acceleration. Moderate Ricochet. Impressive Long Speed.
Field Vision: Impressive Field Vision and Patience.
Blocking: Marginal. Marginal Mechanics and a very dubious Appetite for Combat.
Receiving: Magnificent. Phenomenal Tracking & Timing, and sensational Hands.
I am of course a devout Advocate of Disruption and Change, and could certainly envision such a Transformation ultimately succeeding. Johnson's worst Attribute ~ his passive Blocking ~ would be far less of an hindrance with the positional change, and his best Attribute ~ his Receiving Skills ~ would of course be magnified dramatically.
I'm going to vote No, though, for one huge Reason: Developing Routing Skills sufficient to survive, much less thrive, at the next level can take Years, in the absence of overwhelming natural Skill. And while Johnson's CatchPoint Capacity is undeniably phenomenal, he doesn't possess either overwhelming Size or Speed by any stretch.
As such, it may very well take Years for'm to earn substantial Snaps at WideOut ~ if ever.
No, where I believe his Future optimally lies is as an HalfBack.
I don't believe he has the kind of Skill Set that suggests an enormous Impact at the next level, mind you. His Blocking isn't up to snuff, and until it is, you can't trust'm on Passing Downs...And Passing Downs are what his Game is clearly best suited for!! His Power, Agility, and Field Vision are sufficient to compete as a Runner, but not to excel.
I would thus describe'm as an HalfBack with a competitive level of Running but marginal Blocking who is an extraordinary Passing Game Weapon, but must first develop his Blocking Game before you move'm into the Rotation.
But once he gets the Blocking down ~ and there's no real reason to imagine he won't: most HalfBack Prospects need a bit of Work there ~ his Offensive Coordinator will have one Hell of a Wild Card to deploy on the BattleField.
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!!