Flex End ~ Jean Sifrin ~ Massachusetts Minutemen ~ 6051/245
The Prototype would be about 6050/260 or so.
The "Tight Ends" whose Frames are better suited to be deployed in running Routes from all over the Formation, and who aren't especially renowned for their Blocking ~ though many are adept Chippers ~ I refer to as Flex Ends.
The Prototype would be about 6030/245 or so.
Those of either type who present legitimate Dual Threats ~ who can make a genuine Impact either as a Blocker or as a Receiver ~ are impossible to predict from Snap to Snap, and this renders them extraordinarily dangerous.
Conceivably even more dangerous and dynamic than either of these two types is one of my pet Positions: The WingBacks. I employ this ancient FootBall Term, one still in active use in many High Schools and Colleges, to refer to a Role so ethereal as to be almost imaginary: an Hybrid FullBack & Flex End ~ a Super Hybrid, if you will.
The Prototype would be about 6000/250 or so.
The WingBack, optimally, would be a guy capable of Lead Blocking in the Run Game, Pass Blocking in the Passing Game, or splitting out and running Pass Patterns from SlotBack, Slot End, Split End, or Flanker. He could line up at any of those spots, or on either Wing, on the Line, or in the BackField. He could even go In Motion or run the Ball!!
Such a versatile, dynamic Player could have an explosive Impact on the Competitive LandScape.
The Game has reached a point in its Tactical History that is perfect for such a Player.
It awaits only for the NFL to realize the Opportunity.
Because Flex Ends operate as an Hybrid's Hybrid ~ part Tight End and part WideOut, with Blocking ~ the occasional Chip ~ being but a tertiary part of their Game ~ I break down their Attributes pretty much like I would those of a WideOut:
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.
Navigation: How well he Navigates the Field after the Catch: Power, Agility, Acceleration, Long Speed, and Field Vision.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
* Long Speed
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity: Magnificent. Exceptional Vertical Agility, remarkable Tracking & Timing, excellent Combat Skills and Focus...and a combination of a phenomenal WingSpan and utterly gigantic soft, strong Hands.
Navigation: Outstanding and will probably get better: Moderate Field Vision, but with a tremendous combination of Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration. And he's a Scrapper, too ~ not especially Powerful, but tenacious, and mean as Hell.
I'll leave others to tell the details, but the short of it is that Jean Sifrin will be 28 on Opening Day, yet still developmental!!
So he probably won't hit'is Stride until he's 30 to 32, when most guys are passing their Peak.
So do I even give'm a Draftable Rank & Grade?? Hell, yes.
I'm discounting his Stock not once but twice ~ once for Age and once for being raw. Some might argue that his Stock ought to be discounted even further, based on a pretty rocky, tumultuous Past which casts doubt on his Character. Myself, I'm more inclined to bump it up based on his Past: Kids make mistakes. And for the last 3 Years, he has, rather than buckle under in the face of the mountainous uphill climb he faced, he persevered...and is now on the brink of Success.
And it seems to me that there're no less than 4 Variables at play here that're actually in his Favor:
01 ~ The Learning Curve might not necessarily take as long ~ perhaps nowhere near as long ~ to navigate as is generally assumed. Sifrin's been around. He's experienced the cost of not dedicating oneself entirely to one's Craft. And both his recent Decision to attend Massachusetts in favor of the more dangerously distracting Miami and Florida Programs, as well as his remarkably rapid acclimation to the Minutemen's Offensive System, in light of his not being able to join the Team until the Season was already under way, illustrates both a deep Appreciation of what he's learned...and an extremely impressive Application of the Lesson: Despite not being allowed to actively practice with the Team or even read the PlayBook until 5 Practice days before his first Game, he scored 2 TouchDowns against Colorado!!
Yeah, I'd say he's focused.
02 ~ He doesn't have much Mileage on'm, does he? Not FootBall Mileage, anyway, and while he suffered not one but two Herniated Discs while working for in a Publix WareHouse last decade, he certainly doesn't seem worse for wear!! And I strongly suspect that not all 28 Year Olds are the same: Everybody knows that HalfBacks are apt to Hit The Wall and decline precipitously at about 30 Years Old...Yet my Patriots had a SpeedBack by the name of Kevin Faulk was still explosive at the crusty old age of 34, and Darren Sproles seems destined for similar sustained Greatness.
03 ~ He's a Flex End. Coaches and General Managers are wise, indeed, in this, The Era of the Infernal Salary Cap, ever to be mindful of the prospective Return on Investment of every precious Draft Pick...But while HalfBacks, for instance, do indeed tend to wear down by 30 or earlier, thus returning only about 6 to 8 Years of Peak Performance, Flex Ends oftentimes last much, much longer: Tony Gonzalez was an All Pro at 37, and Antonio Gates is still terrific at 34.
04 ~ And speaking of Antonio Gates: The steep Learning Curve that Sifrin is ostensibly up against? A Flex End's job is far less complicated than that of a traditional WideOut. Gates had played in High School, but didn't play a single Snap in College, got signed by the Lightning Bolts as a UFA...and was starting by the end of his Rookie Year!! Gates was preposterously fast, mind you, in mastering his Game, but other College Hoopsters, like Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron ~ both'f whom I loudly touted in 2011!! ~ developed into dynamic PlayMakers in a few short Years.
All things considered, I consider Jean Sifrin one Hell of an intriguing Prospect.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
Double Dirty Dog Discounted Beast!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!