SpeedBack ~ Duke Johnson ~ Miami Hurricanes 5091/207
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: Outstanding. His Long Speed is mediocre, but his Launch Velocity is phenomenal, and he also manifests exceptional Fluidity and extraordinary Ricochet out'f'is Breaks. Not so much slippery as explosive.
Field Vision: Impressive and potentially extraordinary. When he's not twitching out and diving into a crowded Line ~ when he exerts a modicum of Patience ~ Johnson displays outstanding Field Vision and a tremendous capacity to rapidly and effectively Read & React to the Tactical LandScape Roiling & Boiling in front'f'm. He just needs to simmer down and develop more consistent Patience ~ maybe switch to Faux Joe. That's "DeCaf", to you Earthlings.
Blocking: Competitive. He's improved considerably, and the extra Beef definitely seemed to help.
Receiving: Tremendous. Johnson's Route Running and Instincts for the Open Zone are very impressive for an HalfBack, his Hands are excellent, and his Navigation after the Catch is exceptional: he's a genuine Threat.
Duke Johnson, allowing for Good Health, will become All That He Can Be.
And that, as they say, is quite a lot.
His combination of outstanding Agility and extraordinary Processing Speed and Field Vision render awesome Potential as a Runner, provided he simmers down and rids himself of that Impatience which is his Achilles Heal.
And that Running Talent is compounded by tremendous Receiving Talent and an improved albeit merely competitive level of Blocking, which means of course that his prospective Team can potentially deploy'm on all 3 Downs.
Duke Johnson need to continue to evolve, but he's given every indication that he will do whatever it takes to succeed.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!