PowerBack ~ Matthew Jones ~ Florida Gators 6024/231
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. Jones has mediocre Long Speed, but his Acceleration is adequate and his Fluidity is Excellent.
Field Vision: Mediocre. He is Decisive, and that is crucial, but his Field Vision is a Liability.
Blocking: Exceptional. Tremendous Core Power, sufficient Combat Skills, and an Impressive Motor.
Receiving: Competitive but with Exceptional Potential. Not much of a Route Runner, mind you, but Excellent Fluidity, decent Acceleration, and terrific Hands. He could very easily develop into a reliable Outlet Receiver.
Even so, he's a decisive 1 Cut Runner, which I love, he's very Strong, which many Big Backs are not, and he's Slippery and Quick, as well. I often read "Quicker than Fast" about Backs, always, it seems, with the implication that it's regrettable, which amuses me greatly. Jones is Quicker than Fast ~ which is not to suggest, mind you, that I consider'm to be overwhelmingly quick ~ but Quick & Slippery, not Fast, is what wins Games and Championships.
Jones is not much of a Perimeter Threat, you understand: Quicker than Fast in his case just means Mediocre Long Speed and Decent Short Speed. But his outstanding combination of Power & Fluidity makes him a very dangerous and destructive Runner between the Tackles. He'll Move The Chains, and he'll punish Defenses.
And while he's not any kind of dynamic Receiving Threat, either, I believe that he'll prove, given the Opportunity, to be a very reliable Outlet Receiver: He's got the Fluidity, enough Short Speed, and the Hands to be a good one.
And he's got tremendous Potential as a Blocker, too: Power and an Appetite for Contact!!
His shaky Field Vision translates into Inconsistency, though his Decisiveness assuages that Liability, so I'm only to go with a Mid Rounder Grade & Rank, but if he develops that cerebral Aspect of his Game, he would have the Potential to dramatically excel my Evaluation. Of course: Opportunity is always the biggest Variable.
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!!