PowerBack ~ Easy Elliott ~ Ohio State BuckEyes 5115/225
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
Field Vision: Magnificent.
It is for all practical purposes a Law of Physics that Elite Speed Athletes cannot be Elite Power Athletes nor can Elite Power Athletes be Elite Speed Athletes, because Power requires Beef, and Beef slows you down.
This is true even contextually, which is to say that even allowing that an Elite Speed Athlete playing Offensive Tackle at 300 Pounds isn't likely to run a 40 Yard Dash nearly as fast as an Elite Speed Athlete playing Flanker at 200 Pounds, yet is every bit as Elite, contextually...neither are likely to combine that level of Speed with an elite level of Power.
It is pretty close to being a Law of Physics.
But every once in a while, someone comes pretty damned close to shredding that Law.
Julio Jones, a few Years ago.
And Easy Elliott.
Easy Elliott commands a preposterous level of combined Power and Agility. He breaks Tackles and plows through Piles, yet he is serpentine Smooth, explosive out'f'is Breaks, and boasts outstanding Acceleration and Long Speed.
But what renders him such an exquisite Pleasure to watch is his sensational Field Vision: He is blessed with both awesome Processing Speed and Patience, routinely exhibiting the Wisdom to allow Blocks to develop, and for the Tactical LandScape thus to open up for'm, before unleashing his Power & Speed on his hapless Foes.
And he is an excellent Receiver, as well, with an impressive Route Running Repertoire for an HalfBack, and startlingly excellent Catch Point Skills, exhibiting terrific Tracking & Timing Skills and extraordinary Hands.
But if none of any of that were true, I'd still be crazy about this kid because of his Blocking.
Easy Elliott is the best Blocking HalfBack I've ever seen, since I become consumed by The Draft 6 Years ago.
He brings that Power and Agility to bear ferociously and with an unmistakable appetite for Combat.
I've never seen anything like it. It's generally understood that HalfBacks and WideOut don't care much for blocking, and that it's pretty much a given that they'll be deficient at it when they leave College and will need to develop it.
But Elliott...He blocks like blocking is his only Job...and like he wants to be the best of them all.
And may well he be.
As a Fantasmagorical General Manager who indulges in Mock Drafts every Year and dreams of owning his own Team some day, I tend not to draft HalfBacks early, because I always find Top Talent late in the Draft.
But my personal approach is one thing.
Evaluating Value is quite another.
And Easy Elliott...is One Of A Kind.
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!!