Slot End ~ Evan Engram ~ Ole Mississippi Rebels
Split Ends are usually the bigger, taller WideOuts who line up in the X Position, on the Line of Scrimmage.
SlotBacks are usually the quicker, smaller WideOuts who line up at the Y Position, off the Line.
FlankerBacks are usually the faster WideOuts who line up at the Z Position, off the Line.
The Split End prototype would be about 6030/225 or so.
The Flanker prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
The SlotBack prototype would be about 5010/195 or so.
And I'm adding a 4th: The Slot End.
The term may make some Readers cringe, for the same reason that the term "Jumbo Shrimp" might.
And it's a term, as far as I know, entirely of my own Invention.
But it is of course the perfect Tactical term for a WideOut lined up in the Slot yet on the Line of Scrimmage.
And it strikes me as an excellent term to describe a WideOut who's not necessarily tall ~ like a Split End ~ not necessarily fast ~ like a FlankerBack ~ and not necessarily spry ~ like a SlotBack ~ and is often a bit Beefy. Not necessarily beefy enough to take on a Flex End's Blocking Responsibilites, but beefy enough for a Split End's.
I'm talking about WideOuts who're well suited to catch Balls in Traffic, and Move The Chains.
However a given Coach chooses to deploy the Soldiers at his disposal is of course entirely up to him, and most WideOuts will see Snaps at multiple Positions and in multiple Alignments, but I believe that it is valuable to categorize WideOuts in terms of classic Skill Sets, to better define the differences in the kind of Impact they might wield at the next level.
This is how I break things down when I'm evaluating all WideOuts:
Separation: Getting Open. This encompasses Combat Skills & Fluidity to beat Press, Acceleration out'f the Blocks, Fluidity and Ricochet in navigating Traffic, Route Running Precision, the capacity to deceive Defenders, and Field Vision for Timing Seems and Open Zones. All other Aspects of a WideOut's Job Description are dwarfed by this one.
Catch Point Capacity: In Transit or Contested: Hands, WingSpan, Vertical Agility, Combat Skills, and Timing.
Yards After Catch are well and fine, but it seems to me that 90% of the Value of a Flex End and any WideOut is getting open and catching the Ball. Anyone who's read my Work extensively knows that I consider Blocking to be the Heart & Soul of FootBall, but that is a philosophical position, and I recognize that with most Philosophies, where it comes to Wide Receivers and Flex Ends...it's just Gravy. And so is Yards After Catch: Moving The Chains is What Wins.
Chunk Yardage: An highly overrated Aspect of the Game, I believe, so much so that in fact I didn't even include it in 2016. It is not a negligible Aspect of the Game, so I'm bringing it back, but getting open, catching the Ball, and Moving the Chains are far more crucial to a Team's Success, I believe, than making Splash Plays and getting on ESPN HighLights Reels. Power, Fluidity, Ricochet, Speed, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed/Field Vision all play into Chunk Yardage.
Blocking: It was a Mistake to leave this Aspect ~ my very favorite Aspect of FootBall ~ out'f 2016's Flex End Reports, and I'm very happy to correct that Mistake, evermore. Blocking of course comes down to Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor, and further breaks down into In Line Blocking and Open Field Blocking.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Separation: Extraordinary. Engram's Fusion of explosive Acceleration off the Line of Scrimmage, impressive Fluidity, and exceptional Ricochet out'f'is Breaks, is outstanding, and his tremendous Processing Speed and Field Vision, routinely exhibited by consistent Success in employing Timing & Deception to Get Open, render'm a Top Shelf Navigator.
Catch Point Capacity: Excellent. Engram consistently exhibits tremendous Tracking & Timing, both In Transition and on Contested Catches, impressive Vertical Agility, exceptional Combat Skills, and outstanding Hands.
Chunk Yardage: Phenomenal. Engram's Power, Fluidity, and explosive Ricochet out'f'is Breaks would, in and of themselves, be a dangerous enough Combination to start with, but leveraged by his tremendous Field Vision to navigate the Tactical LandScape and crowned by blistering Long Speed, Engram is a genuinely horrifying Terror.
Blocking: Outstanding. Oh, it doesn't look outstanding on Tape, I'll happily grant you!! But I'm looking at a guy playing Tight End and seeing'm through a Slot End's Prism ~ the Difference being about 40 Pounds!! ~ and I believe that the Intensity and Combat Skills that he consistently exhibited will translate from a guy barely hanging on for'is Life against Foes routinely 40 Pounds heavier than'm to an Impact Player against a steadier Menu of Guys his own Size!!
In other Words: His Blocking Game has been forged on the Perimeter of The Trenches. As a Slot End ~ if his Coaches are smart enough to deploy'm accordingly ~ he'll usually face CornerBacks, RoverBacks, CenterFielders...and SlotBacks!!
These guys being generally 50 to 100 Pounds heavier than the Foes that Engram spent half'f'is Snaps doing Battle with...my Thinking is that he should excel at the very least, and very possibly dominate.
Emerging Positions are in many ways my Favorite Positions, because we're Witness to Tactical History, which means, as I see it, that the relentlessy evolving Strategic LandScape is creating Vacuums which of course creates New Opportunities for the Brave Souls with the Vision and the Balls to drive the Tide of Change!!
Slot Ends ~ as far as I know, I'm the only Soul employing that Term...so far!! ~ are Hybrid Flex End/Split Ends, which of course is amusing because as far as I know, nobody else uses the term Flex End, either!!
And because of that, we are witnessing the Emergence of new Skill Sets, yet 99% and more of the FootBall World employs idiotically inaccurate terms to describe them...and inexplicably views them through False Prisms.
Consequently, they vastly underrate the Potential Impact and thus the Value of Prospects with these new Skill Sets.
In EarthSpeak: A Slot End is not a Tight End or even a Flex End.
A Slot End does not need to Beef Up another 40 Pounds!!
Evan Engram?? Nah!! He's too slow to play WideOut...and too small to play Tight End!! Or, put another way...
Evan Engram?? Hell, yeah!! He's too big for Corners to handle, and too fast for MidFielders!!
Evan Engram offers an incredibly dynamic Skill Set: This is a Prospect with the combination of Size and Speed to deploy at Slot End, SlotBack, WingBack, or Split End, and to perform at an high level at any of'm.
He's got the Power and Combat Skills to beat Press Coverage, the combination of Fluidity, Speed, and explosive Ricochet to routinely Get Open, and the Processing Speed and Field Vision to exploit all Coverages.
He's outstanding at the Catch Point, whether In Transition or on Contested Catches...and a genuine Terror with the FootBall, one who should routinely twist, turn, blast, and beast his way for enormous Chunk Yardage.
And he projects to be a tremendous, even dominant Blocker.
Above all, though: He'll Move The Chains.
This is a Prospect with the Potential not only to prove instrumental in getting you to the PlayOffs, but in helping you win'm!! And the Intensity and Intelligence that're displayed on Tape ~ I write of course about what I call Trajectory:Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk. ~ render me highly confident that Evan Engram is a classic High Celing/High Floor Prospect...one that The Market, as I read around the InterNet, currently gives a 2nd/3rd Round Value to!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!