Slot End ~ Tyler Boyd ~ PittsBurgh Panthers
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.
And I'm adding a 4th: The Slot End.
The term may make some Readers cringe, for the same reason that the term Jumbo Shrimp might.
And it's a term, as far as I know, entirely of my own Invention.
But it is of course the perfect formational term for a WideOut lined up in the Slot but on the Line of Scrimmage.
And it seems to me to be an excellent term to describe the Skill Set of a WideOut who's not especially tall ~ like a Split End ~ not especially fast ~ like a FlankerBack ~ and not especially spry ~ like a SlotBack ~ and is often a bit Beefy.
And it's also a pretty apt description of a WideOut tall enough to be a Split End, but not fast enough.
In other words: a WideOut who profiles as a Slot End. But I digress.
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
Catch Point Capacity: Extraordinary. Excellent WingSpan, exceptional Combat Skills, terrific Tracking & Timing, remarkable Vertical Agility, and phenomenal, large Hands. As Dane Brugler puts it: Exquisite.
And because I tend to agree with them, I am a big Fan.
Ricochet ~ my Term for the Speed with which one bursts out'f one's Breaks ~ is an Attribute that Boyd has very little of, and because of that, he is rarely going to have to deal with a Long Distance Relationship with his Coverage.
But he is one of the very most developed WideOuts in this Draft, bringing Rich, Replete Repertoire of Route Running to the BattleField, and ~ far more crucially ~ his Route Running is refined. It seems quite evident that Boyd has training with tremendous Intensity and for many Years on this particular Craft: His Field Vision is outstanding.
Likewise, whereas deficient Core Power might get'm persistently hung up at the Line of Scrimmage against Press Coverage, his refined Combat Skills and excellent WingSpan earn'm Releases routinely.
Consequently, I believe that he's going to be able to work himself Open far more often than his mediocre Core Power and Agility would account for on their own. Intelligence and Hard Work, it seems to me, have transformed an Auxiliary level Separation capacity into that of a Warrior ~ a 6th/7th Rounder, if you will, into a 2nd/3rd Rounder.
Of course that doesn't account for his Super Beast level Catch Point Capacity!!
Boyd's a bit on the lanky side, and he is by no means a dynamic PlayMaker, but in terms of What Wins ~ and of course I mean: Moving The Chains ~ he is very well equipped and remarkably well prepared.
I believe that he'll very likely prove to be one of those guys who routinely gets Open despite mediocre Agility, and who also proves so incredibly reliable at the Catch Point that he rapidly becomes his QuarterBack's Alpha Binky.
And I believe that there's a damned good Chance that Tyler Boyd carves out a Starting gig by Opening Day of his first Campaign: He is by far the most Battle Ready Wide Out that I've written up, so far.
And yet, despite the NFL's insatiable appetite for Wide Outs, Boyd's Stock has tumbled over the last Year, first off to a DWI last Summer, and then due, presumably, to a statistical slide in 2015, when he was moved into the Slot.
Well, Divergence is what makes a Market, right? You need Buyers and Sellers.
And for my Money, Tyler Boyd is a great Buy at this Price.
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!!