PowerBack ~ Joshua Robinson ~ Mississippi State BullDogs ~ 5076/216
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: Exceptional. Mediocre Long Speed, but I don't give a Damn. His Fluidity and Ricochet are Impressive, and his Acceleration is Outstanding. He won't break off any 80 Yarders, but he bursts into the 2nd Level rapidly.
Field Vision: Impressive. Misses a Lane now and then and blows up a developing Play in its infancy from time to time, but generally reads the Tactical LandScape effectively and quickly, and generally exhibits good Patience.
Blocking: Mediocre. Impressive Motor, but marginal Mechanics.
Receiving: Effective. Sufficient Timing & Tracking and decent Hands. Impressive after the Catch.
Joshua Robinson is the kind of Prospect that makes these Evaluations not just fun but flat out delightful.
He runs like a raging Lunatic, this kid, and he's got so much Power and Energy built into that Frame that I have to imagine that opposing Defender universally loath the sight'f'm. He is precisely the kind of guy who wears entire Defenses down, late in Games, even as he gets his entire Team fired up with his Energy. His Motor is relentless.
As a Runner, Joshua Robinson is best as an Inside Runner: his lack of Long Speed sometimes catches up to'm when he tries to Corner. But Between the Tackles, his combination of Power, Fluidity, Ricochet, and especially that remarkable Acceleration Burst are formidable, and he gets increasingly destructive as the Game rolls on!!
On Passes, he's not especially impressive as either a Receiver or especially as a Blocker, but this kid is Driven, and I have every Confidence that while he'll hardly develop into a dynamic Receiver, he'll certainly develop into a reliable one, and while his Frame is always going to give'm problems as a Pass Blocker, he will become at least Competitive.
His Strengths are clear, I think: A Pounder who'll consistently Move The Chains, rack up Chunk Yardage, and demolish and demoralize Defenses. I don't foresee'm becoming more than Adequate in the Passing Game, but I believe that he'll prove to be an explosive, dynamic, and delightfully destructive Runner and an important part of a BackField Crew.
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!!