SpeedBack ~ Justin Jackson ~ NorthWestern WildCats ~ 5115/200
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
Power: 40. Kinda gangley. 200 Pounds isn't light when you're 5010, but at 5115...yeah, pretty reedy. Tough, though and with excellent Core Power. Doesn't move many piles, but I don't see'm get knocked back too often, either.
Agility: 80. Mediocre Speed. It was heartbreaking to see'm get caught from behind on what would've been a 98 Yard Score on an awesome Run against the PittsBurgh Panthers, where he hesitated for about a tenth of a second to let his Guard pull across and then just surged upfield. It was beautiful. Yeah, his Speed is mediocre, all right...But that surge? That Acceleration? Tremendous, and his Ricochet and Fluidity are outstanding, unconventional running style or not.
Processing Speed: 90. Gets a little greedy sometimes, but he reads the tactical landscape very quickly and extraordinarily effectively, both approaching the Line of Scrimmage and, even more so, once he's past it.
Blocking: 40. Impressive Motor, but mediocre Power and Combat Skills.
Receiving: 66 with considerable Potential. Heavily involved in the Passing Game, Jackson ran mostly simple Routes, but ran them with precision and excellent Instincts for the Open Zone. His Hands are tremendous, and as far as Chunk Yardage goes, his Power and Speed are mediocre, but his Field Vision, Ricochet, and Fluidity are tremendous.
I must confess that I don't know what they're talking about. He does have something of a gangley gait, I suppose, as befits a man who looks more like a WideOut than an HalfBack, but I've seen plenty of Prospects with that kind of style.
Anyway...Justin Jackson is certainly reedier than my idea of the ultimate HalfBack Frame, which'd go about 5010/216 or so, and that ostensibly leaves him susceptible both to injuries and to wielding less Power and Agility than you'd like an HalfBack to possess...But while his Power I would rate as mediocre, it ain't bad, thanks to excellent Core Power, and athletically, he's tremendous. Put that together with extraordinary Field Vision, and he's tremendous.
Ceiling? Beast!! 1st/2nd Rounder. He's too tall, he's not strong enough, he runs kinda funny...Yeah, I've read all of that, and some if it's even true. But Jackson's fusion of Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Processing Speed render'm a dangerous weapon, every single Snap. His Instincts are occasionally shocking. And there's enough raw material, especially Core Power and WingSpan, to work with, there, to develop into a decent Blocker who can also become reasonably effective at running it between the Tackles. And he's got 80 Catch Potential as a Receiver.
Floor? Reserve. 6th/7th Rounder. The Blocking is the big issue, of course, and the capacity to run it between the Tackles is the secondary issue. It is not certain that he'll develop either skill well enough to become more than a guy who get deployed in Spread Formations or the occasional Gadget Play and 4th HalfBack/Special Teams guy.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Really good, I think. Hopefully, he'll wind up with somebody who's actually watched his amazing Tape, and gives'm a genuine chance, because Jackson's Intelligence and Drive, I'm here to tell you, are sky high.
Whatever he is capable of becoming, he will become...all of it.
Pay the man.
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!