FlexWing ~ Jakeem Grant ~ Texas Tech Red Raiders ~ 5055/165
And this is also opposed to the traditional Wes Welker sort of SlotBack or other "Wide Receivers" who make occasional Cameo Appearances in the Running Game on End Arounds and Reverses and such.
Mind you: I believe that failing to actively include these aforementioned SlotBacks in the Running Game in the first place to be foolish, and I further believe that they are, to a man, capable of doing so and thus significantly enhancing their Teams's Tactical Options, Strategic Capacities, and, thus, Mercuriality. "Unpredictability", to you Earthlings.
Yeah, I made that up.
As such, one could make an Argument that FlexWings are all SlotBacks, and that the term is thus Redundant.
But of course it is not:
Perhaps there would've been no Role in the NFL for such diminutive Players, in Years Past.
But with the NFL rapidly evolving towards Offenses that spread things out and force Defenses to do the same, and with Defenses being increasingly compelled by evolving Offenses not only to deploy more Pass-Oriented Tactics, but to take on an increasingly Pass-Oriented Defensive Mentality...Opportunity for Small, Spry Backs abounds.
As with many Roles, there is of course some overlapping with other Roles, and I'm quite sure that most who read these words will roll an eye or two at me, which is of course your Privilege!!
But I do greatly enjoy exploring the Possibilities of this Great Game, and it seems to me that there is an enormous Strategic Opportunity, here: Defensive Tactics have out of necessity responded to the latest changes in Regulations to become, once again, both Smaller in Personnel and more Passing Oriented in their Schematics.
As such, it seems to me that an Hybrid SlotBack ~ a FlexWing, if you will ~ who takes an active hand in the Running Game and is in fact very effective or even dangerous when doing will provide a considerable Strategic Advantage to his Team: Defenses that are developed and deployed to oppose Offenses that include a prominent SlotBack will naturally be both Smaller in Personnel and more Passing Oriented in their Schematics, and thus placed at a Strategic ~ Personnel Development ~ and Tactical ~ Schematics & PlayCalling Disadvantage.
As with all Strategic & Tactical Innovations, the Advantage would be most acute during the first few Years.
These are the Attributes that I'll be looking at, when evaluating FlexWings:
Separation ~ Getting Off The Blocks, Acceleration, Fluidity, and Ricochet ~ Burst out'f'is Breaks.
CatchPoint Capacity ~ Hands, Timing, Tracking The Ball, and Vertical Agility.
Power ~ Derived from Core Power, it's the Capacity to Break Tackles and to consistently Drive Forward.
Agility ~ Fluidity, Acceleration, and Ricochet ~ that's "Explosiveness out of his Breaks" to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed ~ Field Vision, or the Capacity to Rapidly Read & React in a Tactical Environment.
Separation ~ Outstanding. A mediocre Routing Repertoire, but impressive Field Vision. A Spry Fly who can be knocked around, but tremendous Speed, extraordinary Ricochet out'f'is Breaks, and magnificent Fluidity.
CatchPoint Capacity ~ Marginal. Impressive Vertical Agility. Adequate Tracking & Timing. Small Target. Poor Hands.
Power ~ Deficient. Mediocre Core Power within a small Frame.
Agility ~ Sensational. Exceptional Acceleration, explosive Ricochet, and phenomenal Fluidity.
Processing Speed ~ Impressive.
Jakeem Grant is an Navigational Poet with the FootBall in his Hands. His combination of Speed, explosive Ricochet out'f'is Breaks, and utterly serpentine Fluidity is beautiful to behold, and he's a lethal Threat every time he touches the Ball.
His size is an obviously Liability in several ways, of course: There's very little threat of him blocking, a simple fact that deprives his Offense of some element of Surprise when he's on the Field.
He's a small Target that requires a very accurate QuarterBack to work with, and he's a Liability in that, like a KnuckleBall Pitcher who jacks up his Catcher's "Passed Ball" statistics, even though the errant Throws ought all be called "Wild Pitches", so does Grant's Size increase his QuarterBack's Chances of getting Intercepted.
Having said all that: He is an extraordinary Talent, and one who can Make Mayhem either as a Runner or as a Receiver, which indeed adds as much Tactical Advantage as his inability to block effectively takes away.
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!!