SpeedBack ~ Kenyon Drake ~ Alabama Crimson
Tide ~ 6006/210
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: Magnificent. Outstanding Acceleration, tremendous Fluidity, sensational Ricochet, and phenomenal Long Speed!!
Field Vision: Mediocre. Flashes tremendous Processing Speed, but he's indecisive far, far too often.
Blocking: Awful. Mediocre Combat Skills, a deficient Anchor, and mediocre Field Vision.
Receiving: Impressive. Mediocre Hands, but tremendous Agility to Get Open and produce After The Catch.
DeMerit: Fumbling Issues. Bad Form.
Eh...Not so much.
There's no question that Kenyon Drake is blessed with phenomenal athletic Ability...But the Sum Of His Parts seems to me to be far greater than the Whole. Drake can run a WhirlWind when he's got the Ball, but it doesn't seem to me that he effectively does much else: He lacks the Power to pound it between the Tackles, so he's limited to Space Plays.
That's not a Killer, in and of itself, but on "Passing Downs", he is a Liability as a Blocker, and that is a Killer, because it substantially reduces both the Offense's Options and its capacity to deceive the Defense.
Most disturbing of all, in a way, is his Processing Speed and Field Vision. He exhibits Flashes of Brilliance, or so it seems: I suspect that maybe he just guesses right. In either case, he was unacceptably inconsistent in producing substantial Advances, despite the Opportunities that the hallowed Crimson Tide Offensive Line routinely provided'm, because he simply failed to read the Tactical LandScape quickly and effectively enough...or maybe he feared Contact.
He routinely bounced it outside, rather'n take what that Line had earned in the Trenches, and instead of cranking out Yardage, he all too often got splatted...And it's gonna get much, much worse at the next level.
I dislike the Mentality that he habitually displayed there: Championships are won by Moving The Chains, as am insufferably persistent in declaring, not by carving out the occasional HighLight Reel Play while spending most of your Opportunities wasting what the Trench Beasts earned, avoiding Contact, and producing Negative Plays and 3 and Outs.
Nope. Not a Fan.
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!!