SpeedBack ~ Tyler Ervin ~ San Jose State
Spartans ~ 5097/192
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. Impressive Acceleration. Exceptional Fluidity. Excellent Ricochet. Exceptional Long Speed.
Field Vision: Moderate. He usually works the Tactical Landscape well, but is inconsistent and wastes some good Blocks.
Blocking: Mediocre. Deficient Core Power, though a strong Motor and decent Combat Skills.
Receiving: Exceptional. He's got the Agility to consistently Get Open. Mediocre Hands. Big Threat after the Catch.
He is thus consigned to playing in Space for the most part, which is fine, and he's got definite Potential to excel. Where his Potential pivots, I believe, is in how far he can develop as a Blocker. For instance, I see Kenyon Drake's Chances of developing into an effective Blocker as remote, and that's a major Factor in my giving him a very low Grade.
Ervin, on the other hand, I believe has a fighting Chance.
Even so, I see him primarily as limited to running and receiving, with the Chance of Blocking becoming a more substantial part of his Snaps as a shaky proposition, which in turn limits his Utility to a Team and thus his Value.
That's how I see it: Tyler Ervin seems to me to be a definite Weapon as a Passing Down Only SpeedBack, one who may or may not develop into a decent Blocker, but whose Impact as a Ball Carrier could be extraordinary, but only if he develops more consistently effective Processing Speed and proves himself able to consistently rack up the Yardage that the Offensive Line earns, thus Moving The Chains. He has serious Potential, but all sorts of Failure Risk!!
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!!