SpeedBack ~ Paul Perkins ~ Los Angeles Bruins
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: Tremendous. Moderate Long Speed, but exceptional Acceleration. Outstanding Fluidity. Magnificent Ricochet. He won't break off many 80's, but he guts UpField quickly, navigates smoothly, and explodes out'f'is Breaks.
Field Vision: Extraordinary. Razor-sharp Instincts for rapidly reading the Tactical LandScape and anticipating Holes. His extraordinary Processing Speed allows him to time those explosive Cuts with devastating effect.
Blocking: Competitive. He doesn't project much Drive Power, but his Anchoring Strength is decent, and he brings both tremendous Combat Skills and an outstanding Motor to the Battle. He's startlingly solid.
Receiving: Excellent. Impressive Router, as Backs go, and he navigates Traffic with manifestly outstanding Instincts and of course remarkably Agility. And he's got terrific Hands. He could make an enormous Impact as a Receiver.
There are concerns: His Game is predicated on Core Agility, not Core Power ~ not a Criticism, mind you: it's almost always one way or the other, Physics imposing such restraints as it does!! ~ which puts a cap on his capacity to run between the Tackles or to block effectively, and he's been banged up, which raises questions about his Long Term Health.
Regarding the Power, it seems to me that while Blocking and Power Running will never likely become Strengths of his, the Ferocity that he brings to the Field of Battle as both Runner and Blocker, and the Drive he's exhibited in developing his Combat Skills over the Years have, between them, served to neutralize what would've been Liabilities.
And as to his Long Term Health and Durability, I'm simply not concerned. While readily conceding that every FootBall Player is always one bad Hit away from ending his Career, it seems to me that smaller, more agile Warriors like Perkins are generally able to avoid devastating Hits, and that, being compact as they are, tend to be more resilient.
As for the notion of taking on 300 Carries a Year, it's long been a thesis of mine that I find that to be foolish, or at least cruel. HalfBacks play arguably the most physically punishing of all the Positions, and it's ridiculous to imagine that they can sustain their quality of Play for very long at that pace. A Team that takes a Collaborative approach ~ what is generally referred to as a Committee ~ can get a substantially higher level of Play consistently, Play after Play and Year after Year, while benefiting the Player, as well. There's a reason that Kevin Faulk and Darren Sproles have lasted so long.
And I would hardly discount the Value of an HalfBack just because I was projecting him for, say, 200 Touches.
After all: WideOuts touch the Ball half that time, and we don't Discount their Value.
Paul Perkins has the Potential, Good Health Granted, to become a dynamic and devastating Weapon in this Great Game. His capacity to rapidly read the roiling, boiling Tactical LandScape, to anticipate Opportunity, and to explode through creases and holes...is sensational. He routinely plays a Split Second faster than his Foes.
And it is a Joy to behold.
And on Passing Downs, he is remarkably competitive as a Blocker and a smooth, soft-handed Receiver who is very, very dangerous in the Open Field. We're talking about a potential 80/1000 Receiver, Folks.
Needless to say, I consider such a potentially dynamic Hybrid Threat worth his weight in Gold ~ or preferably Silver.
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!!