PowerBack ~ Samaje Perine ~ Oklahoma Sooners
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: Marginal. Mediocre Acceleration through the Line of Scrimmage. Sluggish Speed DownField. Marginal Fluidity and sluggish Ricochet: He changes directions neither smoothly nor crisply, much less explosively.
* Update: Mediocre. Marginal Speed and mediocre Ricochet, but effective Fluidity.
Field Vision: Mediocre. He Synchronizes his Timing well with his Linemen, but far less so, reading the Tactical LandScape beyond the Line. He's very effective when the Blocking goes well, but improvises rather poorly.
* Update: Impressive. Perine improves with additional viewing.
Blocking: Effective, but with outstanding Potential. Adequate Motor. Decent Combat Skills. Extraordinary Power.
Receiving: Mediocre. Inconsistent Hands. Effective after the Catch: No Agility, but plenty of Power.
* Update: Effective. Impressive Hands, the more you see'f'm.
As it is, he's tracking as a 3rd or 4th Rounder, and most of this Planet's Coaches still haven't figured out the vast Potential that Triple Threat WingBacks offer, so I'm pretty confident that Perine would prefer to stay at HalfBack.
At least for now.
As a PowerBack, I really don't see much in Perine's Game. Oh, if he gets good Blocking and gets that Train rolling, he's a Beast to bring down, no Doubt about it. But in the right Offense,virtually any HalfBack can rack it up.
Put Perine on the CowBoys, and I guarantee you that he'll look like a SuperStar.
But what adds Value ~ what distinguishes a Top 10 Quality HalfBack from a UFA Quality HalfBack ~ is above all the capacity to create his own Yardage. Perine's Power should certainly rack up some, but that's about it, I think: He lacks Agility, he lacks quality Field Vision, and he just seems like a Hard Yard Masher to me, and not much more.
* In fact, I might yet write up Perine as a WingBack, if Time permits!!
* Update: Yes, Samaje Perine improved considerably upon more careful Inspection. He is neither Fast nor Explosive, but he is pretty Smooth, he is incredibly Powerful, and his Field Vision, Upon Further Review ~ thank you again, Draft BreakDown!! ~ is impressive. The Combination of Power, Fluidity, and Field Vision means that he can pound it very effectively, Between the Tackles, beasting here and slipping there, and when you combine that capacity with his prospectively excellent Blocking, effective Catching, and plenty of Intelligence and Drive...you get a Winner!!
I gave'm a 5th/6th Round Grade in March.
That Grade is vapor.
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!!