WildCats ~ 5010/207
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 ~ Exceptional. The WildCats mostly like to try to blast Carey up the Middle, but on the few occasions that he gets a chance to work in Space, he exhibits impressive Fluidity and outstanding Ricochet. Great Acceleration.
Processing Speed ~ Excellent. He seems to read the developing Tactical LandScape very well, indeed.
Blocking ~ Horrible. Has a long way to go, here.
Receiving ~ Tremendous. Hasn't been asked to run a Route Tree in Arizona's unimaginative Offense, but when he does get targeted, he exhibits soft Hands, great Focus, and outstanding Field Vision. And once he gets the Ball in Space, his combination of Power, Agility, and Field Vision make for a dangerous, demolishing Weapon.
Despite Arizona's obnoxious propensity for running virtually everything between or just off the Tackles, I had an absolute blast, reviewing Tape of KaDeem Carey. If this guy's only Capability was just blasting it up the Middle, you couldn't do much better: He is an utterly ferocious Beast, out there, relentlessly punishing Defenders, pounding away, churning his legs, and blasting Defenses, rock by rock, into Oblivion.
I can't tell you how many times I watched Carey disappear into the Pile and glanced away from the Tape, sure the Play was over, only to catch Carey, out'f the corner of my eye, surging forward for another 5 Yards or much, much more. Sometimes he'd be dragging a Posse of Defenders with'm, and sometimes he'd be surging into the Open.
He's a Beast.
But'is Game is far more dynamic than bashing and battering Defenses into Oblivion. KaDeem Carey is a surprisingly athletic Back for such a Mauler, and on the rare occasions that the Arizona Offense let'm out on Parole and allowed'm to work in Space, he displayed startling Fluidity and tremendous Ricochet out'f'is Breaks.
The Defender who, battered and bruised from the blasting and bludgeoning previously perpetrated by Carey on a previous run, thinks to Break Down and brace'mself for the oncoming onslaught, will often find'mself flailing foolishly at empty air, as Carey cuts left or right with quick, crisp, and violent Precision...and barrels DownField.
And he's a genuine Weapon in the Passing Game, as well.
The fact that he was criminally underutilized in the Arizona Passing Game is beside the Point, of course: He's a very adept Receiver, with excellent Focus and soft Hands, and if you give'm the ball in Space, he's a Threat, every time, to blast, barrel, or cut his way through and around any Defender in front'f'm and tear up another 20 Yards.
If he ever learns how to Block, he'll be The Complete Package.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value