State Seminoles ~ 5082/204
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 ~ Outstanding. Tremendous Burst out'f'is Breaks and remarkable Fluidity.
Processing Speed ~ Extraordinary. Perhaps Freeman's most impressive Attribute is his consistent Capacity for Rapidly Reading and Reacting to the rapidly developing Tactical LandScape in front'f'm and instantaneously ricocheting in the best direction. He is a genuine Master Craftsman on the BattleField.
Blocking ~ Phenomenal. Freeman commands awesome Core Power and extraordinary Fluidity. His Mechanics are outstanding, his Lateral Agility is tremendous, his grasp of the Blocking Scheme and his Field Vision for Delayed Blitzes and Stunts is amazing, and his Motor is relentless. His Blocking Game, in short, is simply incredible.
Receiving ~ Tremendous. Freeman finally got a chance to showcase his Receiving Skills in the Gator Game, this Year, and both there and in his other Games, he displayed excellent Hands, great Instincts, and a dynamic and terrifying Big Play Capacity. He reads the Field at lightning Speed and works well with'is Blockers.
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One thing that I love about my rapidly growing Obsession with The Draft is how often I get surprised. Having never sat down and focused on DeVonte Freeman before yesterday, I had nominally slated him as an HalfBack, as opposed to a FlexBack, because he's only accumulated an handful of Receptions, annually.
But after watching several of this Year's Seminoles's Games, the Gator Game in particular ~ and great Thanks to Brother CineFunk for that and many fine Works!! ~ Freeman's dynamic Receiving Potential is clear.
As a Runner, he's Smart, he's Strong, and he's lightning Quick. He Rapidly Reads the developing Tactical LandScape like a Four Star Field General, and he consistently makes smart Decisions in a NanoSecond. He is an incredibly reliable Mover of Chains whose Grizzlies love'm because he never wastes a Block and rarely takes a Loss.
He's short, but he's not small. He is very powerful, height be Damned, and effective all the way up and down the Line: He'll hack a Defense to pieces up the Middle and slash them to shreds on the Flanks.
And he is far and away the best Blocker of any Back I've read Tape on, to this point.
Far and away.
He is a smart, passionate, and genuine Team Player who clearly understands that Moving The Chains ~ rather than gambling on stupid Splash Plays ~ is how you win Games and Championships, and is extremely effective, whether Running, Receiving, or Blocking, at helping his Team do so in every conceivable Aspect of the Game.
Yet his explosive Acceleration and phenomenal Field Vision render'm a Threat to House it on any given Play.
He is a complete FlexBack, and has the Potential to make an enormous Impact on this Great Game.
You know, I am highly indebted to the men at Draft BreakDown for the Tape that they produce on so many Prospects, and I pray that they'll continue to do so forever, because they're awesome.
But I also want to give a special shout out to Brother CineFunk and all his YouTube Brethren. Being able to simply sit back and watch entire Games compressed to just about an hour's Tape, thanks to his tremendous Work in editing them, was not only a great Pleasure but also, I found, a uniquely effective way to Scout a Prospect!!
Consensus Market Value