I cannot for the life of me understand why I didn't write this fellow up, previously: I was well aware enough of'm.
And as nothing has come out of the OTA's, as yet, to draw my attention ~ I simply stumbled across his name while writing up the CleveLand Browns Scouting Report ~ I'll be writing this Report without the Advantage of HindSight.
All the better.
Spartans ~ 5085/182
Hence the term.
They tend to be smaller than either the Split End or the Flanker, and the best ones are remarkably Quick.
And they're actually considered "Backs" ~ like HalfBacks or FullBacks...or QuarterBacks!! ~ which I find rather cool.
*Please do note, though: Schematically, theSlotBack is whoever lines up as the SlotBack...But for the purposes of these Scouting Reports, I am applying this NomenClature to those who are SlotBacks by trade, so to speak: Those whose Skills Sets apply best to that particular Job Description. What their Coaches might do with them, once they're drafted, is another matter all together. Ditto, the Split Ends & Flanker. In any case, many play multiple Roles.
It should also be noted that many Coaches deploy widely different kinds of Players at SlotBack.
Furthermore, I should append that the classic SlotBack is one that I would not employ much, myself. My Reports are based on my Perception of how they'd do in Offenses that do employ classic SlotBacks ~ like Wes Welker.
If it was up to me, though, SlotBacks would be employed far more dynamically. The way that the Vikings came to employ Percy Harvin, the last couple of Years, made him a significantly more disruptive Weapon, because he became established as a genuine Threat either to Run or to Receive, and from all over the Formation.
The very location of the SlotBack ~ in the murky Zone between Ends & Backs ~ demands a dynamic, Hybrid Role.
From a Tactical standpoint, most Head Coaches are leaving a load of advantageous Possibilities on the Table.
This is the sort of Role that would solve the Mystery of what to do with guys like Denard Robinson.
For now, though, that Conceptual Role ~ I'll call it FlexWing SlotBack!! ~ exists only in my Fevered Imagination!!
The most compelling Attributes of a SlotBack are, in my view, and in no particular order:
Separation. Getting Open. This encompasses their ability to beat Press, their Acceleration out'f the Blocks, their Routing Precision, their Agility, their Ricochet, their capacity to outsmart Defenders, and their Instincts.
Catching. This encompasses Hands, Catch Radius, Vertical Agility, and Timing.
Navigation. How well he Navigates the Field in Pursuit of Yards After Catch: Power, Agility, and Field Vision.
Blocking. Having a WideOut who doesn't Block effectively is like having 10 Men on the Field of Battle.
Catching ~ Competitive. Small Hands, so he misses some Passes, but he's Focused and he's Tough.
Navigation ~ Superb. Impressive Fluidity, Ricochet, and Field Vision. He'll make some Plays.
Blocking ~ Marginal. Not much Core Power there, but he's a Scrapper.
He's smooth, he's explosive, he's fast, and he's tough.
He's got great Instincts and a powerful Motor.
He could be a QuarterBack's best friend.
And if some Coach figures that out, he could prove to be one of the greatest UFA Steals since Wes Welker.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
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