Flanker ~ Keith Cannon ~ Baylor Bears
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
Press Coverage: Incomplete. Despite the Bears routinely deploy'm at Split End, Cannon rarely saw Press Coverage. He clearly lacks Power, however, and with that and a lack of Experience, I'd expect'm to struggle.
Agility: Competitive. Impressive Acceleration off the Line, and extraordinary Speed DownField, but mediocre Fluidity and Ricochet. He's Hell on Wheels if you ask'm to run in a straight line, but changing direction? Not so much.
Routing: Marginal. His Route Running Repertoire is marginal, but that is of course not his fault: It's a common theme with Spread Offenses, and Baylor's in particular. His Deception and his Field Vision, within the context of Baylor's Scheme, appear decent. He's gonna need Tons of Training & Time, though, to get ready for the next level.
Cannon seems to me to be a Prospect with limited capacity to be beat Press Coverage, due to a lack of Power and Fluidity. His blistering Speed should pose a Threat on every Snap, of course, but he seems very one dimensional to me. His undeveloped Route Running and his mediocre Fluidity and Ricochet raise enormous Doubts, I believe, about his prospective ability to consistently gain Separation at the next level. He needs a Ton of Time & Training.
Catch Point Capacity: Mediocre.
Catch Point Combat Skills: Marginal. Deficient Power and mediocre Paw Power & Positioning.
Tracking & Timing: Mediocre. Inconsistent, both In Transition and on Contested Catches.
Hands: Mediocre. Inconsistent Extension and inconsistent Efficacy. Plants plenty.
Cannon flashes Brilliance, so there is perhaps genuine Potential, here.
Chunk Yardage: Impressive. Little Power, Fluidity, or Ricochet, but blazing Speed.
Blocking: Marginal. Mediocre Motor. Marginal Power.
I didn't show Corey Coleman a lot of Love, last Year, though Time will tell what becomes of the 15th overall Pick.
It might be that the Baylor Spread doesn't help WideOuts develop any better than it helps QuarterBacks develop.
Then again, I might just be one stupid Son of a Bitch!!
We'll see how it goes with Keith Cannon.
Cannon played Split End at Baylor, but I believe that with his lack of Power and his wealth of Speed, he projects far better at Flanker ~ though all WideOuts get moved around the Formation, of course ~ where he'll have more room to work against Press Coverage, where his lack of Power and Fluidity would otherwise be an enormous Liability.
Any way you slice it, though, I'm not very high on'is Prospects.
Is there Potential, there? God, yes. He's a Class A Zoomer, and as much as I enjoy disparaging 40 Times as being highly overrated ~ they are ~ Speed ~ blistering Speed, like Cannon possesses ~ can be devastating.
But only in the Context of a complete Game...and therein lies The Rub.
I'm not gonna tear Cannon to shreds, here: It's becoming clear to me that the Baylor Spread is crippling to the Development of WideOuts perhaps as much as it cripples the Development of QuarterBacks.
Cannon's underdeveloped Route Running is not his Fault.
But it is his Problem.
And while I feel pretty thin about my current Evaluation of'is Fluidity and Ricochet ~ they rarely asked'm to get very agile with'is Moves ~ and am prepared to significantly reassess those if his 3 Cone or Short Shuttle Times turn out to be amazing, I gotta say that on Tape, he looks far less like a Serpentine Snake...than FrankenStein.
So as I currently see it, Keith Cannon is a Prospect who can perform the old Run Like Hell and I'll Throw You The Ball thing reasonably well, but has a suspect set of Mitts where that's concerned, and who isn't such Hot Stuff when you ask'm to change directions, break out a Slant or a Dig or a Hitch or a ComeBack, either in terms of mechanical Expertise or in the natural athletic ability to do so...and who therefore projects, currently, as a potential Lid Popper who is nevertheless extremely risky to bet on, as he may possibly develop into a devastating #2, yet could wash out entirely.
* Update: The Combine confirmed my impression of his FrankenStein Fluidity. So what we've got here is a guy who can run like Hell, but who can't run Routes, who can't change directions smoothy, sharply, and with FootBall-Retardant Hands.
He could still develop in a few Years, but his Value? Yeah, we're gonna downgrade'm. Both The Market and I had'm in the 4th/5th Round Range in February, but I'll update both Ratings, both'f which've dropped a few Clicks.
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!!