SlotBack ~ Braxton Miller ~ Ohio State BuckEyes
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.
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.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
He's horrible against Press Coverage, having spent Years being trained to elude Contact as a QuarterBack and having developed no Combat Skills. He's got Potential there, mind you, but projects best in The Slot.
Catch Point Capacity: Shockingly excellent. Despite his dearth of Experience, Miller consistently exhibits a formidable fusion of Tracking & Timing, Vertical Agility, and soft, supple Hands, by God.
Yardage Bonus: Here, then, is Miler's Forte, for his combination of Field Vision, Fluidity, and Ricochet are terrifying.
Don't get me wrong: I believe that there's a lot of Work to be done, here, and that those who're expecting Braxton Miller to erupt onto the NFL Stage and start racking up 1500 Yard Seasons immediately will probably be disappointed.
But Braxton Miler brings a sensational level of Agility to the Field of Battle, and while the Gutters are indeed littered with the Corpses of Unfulfilled Athletic Potential, Miller, having converted on the fly from a LifeTime of QuarterBacking to SlotBack, and while certainly exhibiting all the Raw that we all expected of'm, nevertheless manifested a startlingly rapid development that could only be explained by an Harmonic Convergence of Talent, Intelligence, and Drive.
Trajectory > A mercurial Formula that blends Talent, Speed of Improvement, and the Probability of continuing that Speed of Improvement, based on perceived Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive.
I presume nothing of Braxton Miller's Future, and I readily admit that a guy with but a single Year's Experience at a Position carries oodles of Risk: Even for someone who's developing the very Concept of Trajectory, it seems to me that he'll probably need a couple of Years to develop his Route Running Repertoire and Refinement.
But when I multiply Miller's ridiculous Agility times the Expertise that he's developed over Years of QuarterBacking times his evident Intelligence, Field Vision, and Processing Speed on all Tape times the Drive that his rapid development this past Year manifests, I extrapolate an excellent Bet, his wafer-thin WideOut Resume notwithstanding.
His is an unusual case, in that I believe that whoever drafts him will probably have to invest more Time & Training than the average WideOut would need before Turning A Profit, and that certainly impacts his Intrinsic Value.
His Potential is certainly Sky High, but I believe that The Market has it right.
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!!