Yeah. 10 days before his first Game.
Hey. I don't care. Tape on John Brown was obnoxiously difficult to get ahold of. And be warned: What I'm about to write is based on Wafer Thin Evidence...But I don't care!! I knew ~ somehow, I just knew, all the way back in April, that there was something about this kid, but there simply wasn't enough Tape out there to justify a Scouting Report.
...Or so I told myself.
But you know what?? If you know what to look for, you CAN contribute something to the Discussion, even based on only a few Tracks of Tape, and that, in all False Humility, is where I believe I have arrived...
And so, Without Further Ado, I submit to you, Ladies & Laddies, my Scouting Report...on Brother John Brown...SlotBack!!
Gorillas ~ 5100/180
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. His Size loses him some Battles at the CatchPoint and limits his Catching Radius, but his Vertical Agility is impressive, his Timing is good, he's got excellent Hands, and he's really, really Tough.
Navigation ~ Phenomenal. That 435 is not back-loaded: Brown gets from 0 to 60 rapidly. He can just blow your doors off. But it's that Ricochet ~ his explosive Speed out'f Cuts ~ that's most terrifying. Excellent Field Vision, too. Wow.
Blocking ~ Astonishingly tough!! I don't know how he'll do in the NFL, but on the Tape I watched, he was not only consistently physical, he was consistently effective!! And he sticks to'is Blocks throughout the Play, too.
I don't care that he played for PittsBurg State ~ GORILLAS!!! ~ at Division 47 or whatever it was. I don't care.
The Tape I watched ~ and I readily agree that virtually everything is contextual, and that one fails to make Allowances for the Competition at one's Peril ~ was that of a potentially dominant Force that is ready to step in and Wreak Havoc today.
I am All In on John Brown, baby!! BANZAI!!!
Thanks to Pitt State Athletics and especially to PittsJay for the few Scraps I was able to dig up!!
Consensus Market Value