Hornets ~ 5110/224
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 ~ Extraordinary. His Acceleration to the Hole or the Edge and his Ricochet out'f Breaks is very adept, but what sets Crowell's Agility apart is his incredible Fluidity. His Capacity to instantaneously torque Direction or Gear is sensational.
Processing Speed ~ Magnificent. Isaiah Crowell Reads & Reacts to the Tactical LandScape with such spectacular, exhilarating Speed that I'm convinced that he often ricochets in a new direction before he knows it's happening.
Blocking ~ I have absolutely no idea. I've seen'm neither succeed nor fail.
Receiving ~ Hard to say. Nice Hands, but haven't seen'm run complex Routes or do Combat at the CatchPoint.
I'll spare you a regurgitation of the details, but to summarize: Crowell was a supremely talented High School Recruit chose Georgia, flashed phenomenal Potential, and then got run out on a RailRoad because of Weapons Charges.
He has spent the two Years since then toiling at Alabama State.
He's kept his nose clean...But there are serious questions about his Drive...questions based on an extensive History ~ not before he arrived at Alabama State but since then ~ of a sputtering Motor and a propensity to Tap Out.
So the $64,000 Question becomes: Does Isaiah Crowell have it in'm to charge up the Motor, after two long, formative Years of sporadic Intensity? His Coach at Alabama State has publicly raised this very question, which does not exactly inspire Faith that the answer is a favorable one. Crowell seems to've simply been marking time for two Years.
Most Fans, if they believe that ~ and most General Managers, I think ~ will simply write off Crowell as a No Account.
But I believe that people ~ especially young people ~ are more complex than that.
Hey...I don't presume to know what's in Crowell's Heart.
I haven't a clue, Ladies & Laddies.
My point is only that what often appears at first blush to be an astonishing lack of Drive, Passion, and Intensity...is very often something else, all together. I would not presume to wager a guess as to what drove Isaiah Crowell first to get excommunicated from Georgia and thence to virtually sleepwalk through the next two Years.
But I'll bet there's one Hell of a lot more to his Story than meets the eye.
And if he can take command of himself, his Life, and his Career, he could be magnificent.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
SuperBeast!! Caveat Emptor!!
Consensus Market Value