SpeedBack ~ Romarius "Ito" Smith ~ Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles ~ 5085/200
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
Power: 66. Romarius "Ito" Smith ~ his nickname derives from his alleged infantile resemblance to OJ's judge ~ is short, but he is by no means weak. Power is of course a function of Size as well as relative Power, otherwise an ant would score 100 on this metric, so I can't give Smith the 100 that he deserves, either, as he's not barrelling people over on a regular basis, out there...But his is routinely surging forward for another 3, 5, or even 10 or more Yards after initial contact!!
Agility: 80. Smith has mediocre Speed, but as I never get tired of saying: Winning Games and Championships is far, far more about being Quick than being Fast, and Smith's Acceleration to the 2nd level is outstanding, as is his Ricochet and Fluidity. He's Smooth and Sharp, he routinely strings together multiple moves, and rarely needs to gear down to do so.
Processing Speed: 80. A tremendous fusion of Patience, Decisiveness...and excellent Judgement.
Blocking: 40, but with considerable Potential. He's inconsistent. I saw several excellent Blocks against LSU, but the Intensity wasn't always there against lesser foes. Short WingSpan. Outstanding Core Power. Decent Combat Skills.
Receiving: 80. He ran mostly simpler Routes with the Eagles ~ Wheel Routes, Flat Routes and such ~ but racked up a ton of volume ~ more than 40 Receptions, 3 years running ~ and looked very comfortable, doing so. His Route Running was adept, and he played his Agility to excellent Advantage in gaining Separation. Impressive Hands. And after the Catch, he is an enormous threat. Breakaway Speed, he has not, but Power, Agility, and Field Vision, he has in spades.
Red Flag: Ball Security. He's a little sloppy with his Mechanics, and it sometimes costs'm.
Romerius "Ito" Smith certainly need be concerned, as his consistency was lacking, as is his WingSpan. In his favor, though, is his phenomenal Core Power, and that alone is a tremendous foundation on which to build. He can't do anything about his shorter WingSpan, but he isn't Tyrannosaurus Rex, out there, so it's not a fatal flaw. He just needs to put in the Time and Training, develop his Combat Skills, and iron out his consistency, because I have no concerns about his Motor.
And if he gets that squared away, he could be a phenomenal weapon. Smith's combination of Power, Agility, and Processing Speed is awesome. Get'm a half-way decent Offensive Line, and I can easily see 5.0 Yards/Carry.
And he's already accomplished in the Passing Game, and outstanding after the Catch.
I belong to the School of Thought that considers HalfBack to be as close to a commoditized Role as there is in the League, which is to say that it's the easiest job of'm all for a guy to come in off the street and fill in at an acceptable level of performance. The point being one of Valuation: if a UFA could theoretically come in and do an acceptable job, there's certainly no reason to assign a mid-round Grade to a mediocre Prospect who's indistinguishable from the UFA.
But to perform the job at a high level is an entirely different matter.
Ceiling? SuperBeast!! Top 10!! If Smith gets his Blocking down and cleans up his Carry Mechanics, he could quite realistically have 2000 Yard Potential, should his team foolishly go with a Lead Back rather than a Committee!!
Floor? Reserve!! 6th/7th Rounder!! Yep!! Because if he doesn't develop his Blocking and his Carry Mechanics, he can't be trusted with his QuarterBack's Life or with the Ball...and therefore he can't play!!
Risk/Reward Ratio? Very favorable. That Core Power is what persuades me. He needs to develop as a Blocker, but that Core Power is beautiful, and I see MoJo Drew Bowling Ball Blocker Potential. The Kid's a Beast, and I like his chances.
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!