PowerBack ~ Javorius Allen ~ Southern California Trojans ~ 6003/222
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: Impressive in all Aspects of the Agility Trinity: Acceleration, Fluidity, and Ricochet. Moderate Long Speed.
Field Vision: Exceptional. Impressive Field Vision in and of itself and tremendous Patience.
Blocking: Competitive and potentially Exceptional. Moderate Combat Skills but an excellent Motor.
Receiving: Excellent and potentially tremendous. Remarkable Tracking & Timing, impressive Hands, and can rack it up after the Catch, because of a formidable blend of Power, Agility, and Field Vision.
I don't think in terms of Lead Backs of Work Horses or any of that nonsense. HalfBacks do brutal Work against monstrous Beasts. Starting WideOuts get maybe 80 Catches or so a Year and generally get tackled by men their own size, while a traditional Lead Back gets maybe 300 Runs a Year and 50 Catches, gets blasted and knocked around by men who routinely outweigh'm by an hundred Pounds on every Snap, and people wonder why they're washed up by 30.
Any BackField that isn't at least 3 or 4 deep and rotated regularly is being managed stupidly.
And that's how I regard and evaluate HalfBacks: as part of a Crew.
Given the Chance, Allen should fit in very quickly.
He has plenty of Power and Agility to be a successful Runner on any Down, and his best Attribute is his exceptional Field Vision. His Processing Speed appears to be very good. He'll occasionally misdiagnose the LandScape, as we all do, missing a developing Lane or evidently deducing one that doesn't develop. But what I find most impressive and remarkable is the Patience he usually manifests to allow the BattleFeild to unfold in front'f'm.
That goes a long way towards consistently producing Meaty Chunks of Yardage...towards Success.
I really like him as a Blocker, too: Moderate Combat Skills but an excellent Appetite for Combat. Most HalfBacks emerge from College deficient in the one and lacking in the other. Allen is well ahead of the curve in both regards.
And that should translate into earning Snaps far quicker than most, I think.
And what an impressive Receiver. Really smooth and really crisp. He hasn't developed a WideOut's Route Tree or anything dynamic, but as a Short Yardage Receiver, he is remarkably refined. He should make an immediate Impact.
All told, a very impressive Prospect, Javorius Allen, with a strong Chance of making an early Impact.
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!!