PowerBack ~ Kareem Hunt ~ Toledo Rockets
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: Excellent. Yep. I know that he just ran a 4.62 40. And I don't care. That is: I care ~ and his Speed is indeed marginal: the Tape agrees with that Measurement ~ but I care far less than most. Moving The Chains and Winning Games ~ and racking up Yardage, incidentally ~ relies far more on Acceleration, Fluidity, and Ricochet than on Speed, and Hunt possesses those Talents in abundance: He's Quick, he's incredibly Fluid, and he's explosive out'f'is Cuts.
Field Vision: Extraordinary. What a tremendous Pleasure to watch Hunt work his way through Traffic. He Synchronizes his Timing incredibly well with his Linemen as he approaches the Line, throttling up or down as the developing Tactical LandScape calls for, and beyond the Line, he is truly masterful at navigating Traffic in the Open Field.
Blocking: Competitive, with exceptional Potential. Sufficient Motor. Adequate Combat Skills. Extraordinary Power.
Receiving: Tremendous. After 3 Years of neglect ~ 32 total Catches!! ~ Hunt erupted in new Head Coach Jason Candle's Offense, deploying all over the Formation ~ SlotBack, WingBack, In Motion ~ racking up 41 Catches, and exhibiting an exceptional Route Running Repertoire, outstanding Field Vision in navigating Traffic and finding Open Zones, absolutely phenomenal Hands, and a demolishing combination of Power, Fluidity, and Field Vision after the Catch!!
Bonus Round: Magnificent Ball Security. 1 Fumble in 856 Carries, according to the venerable Dane Brugler!!
Kareem Hunt may take forever and a Day to run the 40 ~ 4.62 or so ~ but he's Quick, he's Smooth, he's Explosive, he's incredibly Powerful, and he reads the Tactical LandScape at an elite level of Speed & Precision.
That translates into a Prospect who will probably never pull of a spectacular 80 Yard Run...But who you can feed time after time after time, and who will rack up Chunk Yardage, Move The Chains, and Win FootBall Games.
He's a decent Blocker with the Potential to become an exceptional one.
And he's an tremendous Receiver.
Pay the man!!
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!!