Flanker ~ Carlos Henderson ~ Louisiana Tech BullDogs ~ 5106/198
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 Tactical term for a WideOut lined up in the Slot yet on the Line of Scrimmage.
And it strikes me as an excellent term to describe a WideOut who's not necessarily tall ~ like a Split End ~ not necessarily fast ~ like a FlankerBack ~ and not necessarily spry ~ like a SlotBack ~ and is often a bit Beefy. Not necessarily beefy enough to take on a Flex End's Blocking Responsibilites, but beefy enough for a Split End's.
I'm talking about WideOuts who're well suited to catch Balls in Traffic, and Move The Chains.
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 all WideOuts:
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.
Chunk Yardage: An highly overrated Aspect of the Game, I believe, so much so that in fact I didn't even include it in 2016. It is not a negligible Aspect of the Game, so I'm bringing it back, but getting open, catching the Ball, and Moving the Chains are far more crucial to a Team's Success, I believe, than making Splash Plays and getting on ESPN HighLights Reels. Power, Fluidity, Ricochet, Speed, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed/Field Vision all play into Chunk Yardage.
Blocking: It was a Mistake to leave this Aspect ~ my very favorite Aspect of FootBall ~ out'f 2016's Flex End Reports, and I'm very happy to correct that Mistake, evermore. Blocking of course comes down to Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor, and further breaks down into In Line Blocking and Open Field Blocking.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Separation: Tremendous and potentially sensational.
Press Coverage: Exceptional. He's a SlotBack's Size and Weight ~ at least officially ~ so you'd think that he'd have serious Issues beating Press Coverage, but he's incredibly powerful, he's fluid, and he's got impressive Combat Skills.
Agility: Phenomenal. Tremendous Acceleration off the Line of Scrimmage, outstanding Speed DownField, and sensational Fluidity and Ricochet. Henderson's a genuine DownField Threat, and his capacity to change directions quickly, smoothly, and sharply is absolutely incredible. He wasn't even 100% for the Western Kentucky Game, but wow.
Routing: Exceptional and potentially extraordinary. An impressive Route Running Repertoire. Henderson was lined up all over the Formation ~ even in the BackField several times ~ and ran several different Routes. And his Processing Speed and Field Vision is impressive, even allowing for the Division 27 Competition that he played against.
Henderson still needs some Development in the Deceptive Details of the Game ~ selling Routes, Hornswoggling, and of course the equally crucial Bamboozling ~ but his combination of Speed and Fluidity is potentially lethal.
Catch Point Capacity: Excellent.
Contested Catch Combat Skills: Exceptional. Despite'is Height, he won many Battles in Division 63, and'll win many more at the next level because of outstanding Power, excellent Paw Positioning, and magnificent Vertical Agility.
Tracking & Timing: Tremendous, both In Transition and on Contested Catches.
Hands: Exceptional. Planted a couple of Balls, but he usually extends nicely and his Focus is beautiful.
Chunk Yardage: Magnificent. Outstanding Power, blistering Speed, incredibly serpentine Fluidity and explosive Ricochet, all at the Command of a Player who's Open Field Field Vision is absolutely sensational.
Blocking: Excellent. I rarely find myself grading a Flanker so highly as a Blocker, much less a Flanker who purportedly ~ I'll await The Combine Numbers ~ holds a SlotBack's Frame, but Henderson combines stunningly tremendous Power, exceptional Combat Skills, and an excellent Motor to make a startlingly significant Impact as a Blocker.
Carlos Henderson is so freaking amazing with the Ball in'is Hands that I'm sorely tempted to designate'm as an HalfBack.
Indeed, while he deployed mostly at Split End, with some Slot End mixed in, and the occasional Flanker or SlotBack deployment, he actually lined up at HalfBack several times in the Games I watched!!
And if his next Coaches are smart, they'll do the same.
It'll be very interesting to see what his Numbers are at The Combine. His Frame as reported is that of a SlotBack, but I have my Doubts. Mind you, those Numbers are usually inflated, not deflated, but Henderson mostly lined up at Split End, and, even allowing for the Division 72 Competition, didn't look 5106 ~ nor 192 Pounds, for that matter.
Indeed, Tony Pauline at Draft Analyst reports that he is expected to measure out a bit above 5110. I'm thinking: two bits.
* Update: Nailed it, baby!! Hah!!
None of that is to suggest that I'd expect to change my Designation from Flanker to SlotBack should he not do so. He's got Flanker's Speed, and that's the main thing. In any case, most WideOuts get deployed all over the Formation.
My Function is to suggest what their optimal Position would be.
And indeed: Were I a Coach, I'd have to think long and hard about switching Henderson to HalfBack. His greatest Strength, in my opinion, is his astonishing Processing Speed and Field Vision when he's navigating Traffic with the Ball. And combining that with his Power and his phenomenal Agility makes him terrifying when he's got the Ball.
Why feed'm the Ball 100 Times or so a Season when you can feed'm 400 Times or so a Season?
And I've strongly suggested such Conversions ~ WideOut to HalfBack ~ before. Indeed, in the case of Ty Montgomery, his Team, the Vikings, is, much to my astonished amazement, enacting precisely that Conversion!!
Everybody knows that an HalfBack's Career Arc is far shorter, except on the rare occasions were he's used correctly, than a WideOut's, but sometimes it's a good Idea, if the Player projects far better as an HalfBack.
I don't believe that that's the case, here...But I do believe that Carlos Henderson could make a phenomenal SpeedBack.
And as a Flanker? Well, he'll need Time & Training to develop the Subtleties and the Nuances of his Game, as Josh Norris of RotoWorld points out ~ the aforementioned Hornswoggling & Bamboozling, dontchaknow.
But his consistent Intensity of Effort, in all Aspects of the Game, including Blocking, combined with that sensational Field Vision of his, give me very little Doubt at all that Henderson's got tons of both Drive...and Intelligence.
"Trajectory > A Philosophical Formula that calculates a Prospect's Potential & Risk, based on perceptions of Talent, Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk."
My Eyes tell me that Carlos Henderson commands tons of Drive and Intelligence..and an Ocean of Talent.
I presume nothing, but I don't care that he comes from Division 347. If he gets the right Coaching, I am highly confident that he will develop every ounce of Talent that he possesses...and he possesses a Metric Ton.
Carlos Henderson: High Ceiling. High Floor.
Pay the Man.
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!!