Carolina Chanticleers ~ 6003/228
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 ~ Moderate. Adequate Acceleration, mediocre Ricochet out'f'is Breaks, and impressive Fluidity.
Processing Speed ~ Mediocre. Eminently decisive in Hitting The Hole, but inconsistent Field Vision in the Open Field.
Blocking ~ Raw yet with outstanding Potential. Tremendous Motor and Core Power. His Mechanics are awful, you see.
Receiving ~ Highly impressive. This surprised the Hell out of me, considering his skinny Receiving Resume. TaliaFerro exhibits excellent Extension, reliable Hands, and truly remarkable Timing and Instincts for the Open Zone.
Lorenzo TaliaFerro doesn't boast overwhelming Agility or ~ so far as I could tell on admittedly light Tape ~ Field Vision.
But he is decisive hitting the Hole, and delightfully destructive when he does so.
He is raw and unrefined as a Blocker, but has Motor and Power in abundance, and harbors vast Potential, here.
And ~ shockingly, to me ~ he has genuine Impact Player Potential as a FlexBack. Within the Frame of a 20th Century Power Back and laboring in the relative obscurity of Coastal Carolina, Lorenzo Taliaferro ~ on a light menu of Passes, as well, mind you ~ has developed reliable Hands, tremendous Instincts, and startlingly adept Route Running!!
There is work to be done here, to be sure ~ especially in developing his immense Blocking Potential ~ but it seems to me that Lorenzo Taliaferro has genuine 3 Down Potential. Heh. He could be the Bashing, Biffing, Bruising Hard Yard Masher who pounds the Enemy into Rubble and the FlexBack who swings outside to Split End and shreds the Secondary!!
With all HalfBacks and FlexBacks, there is, despite the common view, a terrifyingly thin line between the Capacities of guys generally perceived to be "Elite" Prospects and those guys generally perceived to be Day 3 & UFA Fodder.
Nobody illustrates this point better than my SuperBinky from 2010, Joique Bell, who got foolishly cut loose 8427 times before ever getting even a single Carry...yet has gone on to demolish Defenses, over the last two Years!!
TaliaFerro is Case In Point, and as such faces a tough, uphill Battle to ever get meaningful Snaps.
But if someone's smart enough to coach him up and give him some Snaps, chances are excellent that he'll be a good one.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value