SlotBack ~ Phillip Dorsett ~ Miami Hurricanes 5096/185
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.
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 Split Ends, Flankers, and SlotBacks:
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.
Navigation: How well he Navigates the Field after the Catch: Power, Agility, Acceleration, Long Speed, and Field Vision.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
* Long Speed
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity: Exceptional. He's most impressive in Transition, but his Tracking & Timing is outstanding in every regard, and his Hands are excellent. Even on Jump Balls he's Competitive, with terrific Vertical Agility.
Navigation: Exceptional. Tremendous Acceleration, outstanding Ricochet, and phenomenal Long Speed, though held back by mediocre Fluidity and Field Vision. Will Go House occasionally, but not a Chain Mover.
His Frame is clearly that of a SlotBack, yet his Game is just as clearly that of a Flanker: His explosiveness is remarkable, and he also lacks the Fluidity that is the essential and defining characteristic of most SlotBacks...However, he lacks sufficient Combat Skills, I believe, to line up against Corners consistently, I think. Like I said: difficult.
Frankly, I believe that he's going to be moved around a good deal, perhaps more than most WideOuts, and'll very possibly prove to be an Hybrid SlotBack & Flanker, lining up in different alignments to get'm into Space as often as possible.
Some guys of his Size but with his blazing Speed, you can line up at Flanker on every Down, if they possess enough Core Power and if they're ferocious enough. But not every Player can boast Steve Smith's unbridled Lunacy.
There's plenty of Work to do, here, and plenty of Risk. Besides being a Flanker trapped in a SlotBack's body, Dorsett's Raw Route Running needs development, and his Blocking is predictably horrible. He's really only suited for Packages as the third or fourth WideOut...But those Packages are very common, and in that regard his Potential is tremendous.
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!!