Split End ~ Austin Hill ~ Arizona WildCats 6024/210
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. Impressive Contortional Agility. Exceptional Hands. Tremendous Tracking & Timing.
Navigation: Competitive in 2014 and Exceptional in 2012, for very much the same reasons as the Difference in Separation Skills: Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration. And his Field Vision here too improved considerably, I thought.
In a way, it seems to me, the Evaluation is pretty simple: Extrapolate Austin Hill Version 2012.0 into the Future and calculate a Grade for'm, calculate a Grade for Austin Hill Version 2014.0, calculate the Odds of each Version proving to be an accurate representation of what he actually brings to the Field of Battle, and produce a composite Grade.
Well, OK. I said simple, not easy.
One Aspect of the Analysis of this Great Game wherein I seem to diverge quite considerably with most is with regard to the Expectations that I have of Players and Prospects recovering from serious and severe Injuries: I pretty much take it for granted that they're going to be impart a portion of their erstwhile Impact for 12 to 18 months, while their body recovers.
My term for it is Take It Through The Gears Years or a Recovery Year, if you will, wherein I patiently abide, awaiting a turn of the Calendar before allowing my Expectorations to return to their former levels. Most other folks, it seems, are more inclined to write a guy off all together, if he doesn't immediately rebound to recapture his former Glory.
Mind you, I don't presume to know the Future or even the Present of Austin Hill's Health: Whether he'll Never Be The Same, has recovered completely, or somewhere in between...But I'm willing to make an Educated Guess:
From my Experience, Players are far more likely to recover 100% of their former Prowess than they used to be, and quickly, too. Frankly, I would've expected Hill to've been 100% last Year, and it is indeed his failure to recover his form that is of greatest concern, in my view. On the other hand, it's perfectly common for a Player to suffer an additional Injury or a Relapse minor enough to play through, but of the lingering nature that hampers an entire Campaign.
And Hill's Pro Day, wherein his Fluidity & Ricochet were quite impressive, argues in Favor of that Perspective.
I believe that the Odds are strong that Hill gets back most and probably all of his former Agility.
As such, while attenuating for Risk, mind you, I believe that it's not only possible but probable that the Prospect we saw in 2012 is the Prospect we have, today. And if so, his Services are available at a remarkable Discount.
The Risk is very real, of course, and substantial, so I'll attenuate my Rank & Grade on Hill accordingly, as I believe that we're looking at the yawning Chasm between a borderline 1st Rounder Prospect...and a UFA!!
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!!