SpeedBack ~ Mel Gordon ~ Wisconsin Badgers 6006/216
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. Gordon's Fluidity ~ his Core Agility ~ is sensational. His Ricochet out'f'is Breaks is spectacular. And his Launch Velocity when he hits the Line is preposterous. I'm actually at a loss for sufficient Hyperbole.
Field Vision: Phenomenal. It's a genuine delight to watch the way Gordon works with'is Blockers. He gets praise heaped on'm because of'is Patience, and well he ought, for many HalfBacks lack that crucial Quality. But it's the way Gordon combines Patience with an extraordinary capacity to Rapidly Read & React effectively to the Roiling, Boiling Tactical LandScape in front'f'm that takes my breath away. His Blockers are going to love him at the next level.
Blocking: Impressive and trending rapidly upward. Gordon had had very little involvement in the Passing Game before this Year, and looked appropriately raw, early on. But he has since improved by leaps and bounds, as they say. He's a lot stronger than he looks, his Combat Skills have improved considerably, and his Motor is outstanding.
Receiving: Ditto. As an aside to enjoying his sensational Running, it's been a tremendous Pleasure to watch as Gordon rapidly evolves as a Receiver in the Passing Game. There's still Work to do of course, but his extraordinary Processing Speed is a great Asset in his Development, as his clearly relentless Work Ethic and his great Hands.
I can't wait to watch'm at the next level: He patiently waits for the Blocks to develop, all the while scanning the BattleField in front'fm, he reads and reacts to the roiling, boiling Tactical LandScape in front'f'm at a million miles an hour, he explodes into the crevice between Blockers even while it's opening, and he surges deep behind Enemy Lines in an instant.
And then good luck tackling'm.
Gordon isn't a Big Beefy Back, but his highly underrated Core Power is dramatically enhanced by such incredible Fluidity that it's almost impossible to knock'm off balance and such explosive Launch Velocity that the Momentum he rapidly generates sends Defenders bouncing all over Hell's Creation. And he can cut on a dime.
And can we talk about Trajectory? Mel Gordon is not only brilliant. He is Driven. Everybody says he's passionate about the Game anyway, but if there'd been any doubt about that at all, one would need only observe how rapidly he acclimated himself to the Passing Game, this Year. That takes Diagnostic Velocity, and that takes Drive.
The only constraint on the rate of the Ascension I foresee for Gordon is how dynamic and dangerous he already is.
What a Force he's going to be at the next level.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!