Split End ~ DeAndre Smelter ~ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ~ 6020/225
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
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity: Tremendous. If things don't work out at WideOut for Smelter, he could certainly make a respectable Living hunting Ducks, because the Fluffy Duck Factor at Georgia Tech was Sky High, if you'll pardon the expression. But Smelter consistently exhibited tremendous Combat Skills, an outstanding WingSpan, extraordinary Hands, and just phenomenal Tracking & Timing. It's hard to believe that he only started doing this two short Years ago!!
Navigation: Extraordinary and trending towards phenomenal. Oh, man. Smelter's Agility is impressive in all regards, and that is very well, but what makes me jump out'f my seat when he's got the Ball are his astonishing Field Vision and his beautifully brutal, demolishing and devastating Power. His navigational Skills and Field Vision are simply amazing, considering his lack of Experience, and he slips, slides, and simply bashes his way to Chunk Yardage!!
Blocking: Awesome. I'd watch that Clemson Game over just to enjoy the brutal Blocks that Smelter laid down!! That's how you play FootBall!! Blocking is of course not much of a Factor at this Position, but it certainly ought to be if your Team is interested in Moving The Chains, dominating the Opponent, and racking up Championships!! And at the very least, Blocking of Smelter's Caliber adds considerable Value to the Team smart enough to draft the man!!
But with Injuries, I figure you can and absolutely should simply toll the coming Campaign ~ issue'm a RedShirt Year ~ thus extending the Rookie Contract Window by a Year at what I consider a low cost: deferring the Return on Investment by a Year. That does incur a very real Temporal Cost, so you can certainly argue that such Prospects should indeed be discounted, but my purpose here is to evaluate Intrinsic Value, not to state where I'd actually draft a guy.
The only Discount that I'd apply to Smelter's Stock would be the Risk of a Raw Recruit: Because of a thin Resume and the simplicity of the Route Running Aspect of the Yellow Jacket Triple Option Offense at Georgia Tech, he's got a lot of Route Running to learn, and the enormous and complex Challenges of Route Running are probably responsible for more WideOuts failing at the next level than all other reasons combined, so there is genuine Risk involved, here.
Having said that, allow me to say this: For a guy who took 3 full Years off to concentrate on BaseBall to display such an advanced level of Field Vision after two Years back on the Job tells me a lot about his Diagnostic Acuity.
And for a guy to've evidently invested the intensive Time & Training necessary to've attained that level of Processing Speed, to say nothing of the Ferocity he brings to every Aspect of his Game, especially Blocking, tells me a lot about his 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."
There are enormous Obstacles to overcome: The long process of recovering from his Injury and reattaining his full athletic Prowess and of course the enormous Learning Curve he's faced with. But I see a formidable combination of Talent, Intelligence, and Drive in DeAndre Smelter, and both expect and wish him extraordinary Success.
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!!