Slot End ~ Stephen Anderson ~ California
Golden Bears ~ 6021/231
Split Ends are usually the bigger, taller WideOuts who line up in the X Position, on the Line of Scrimmage.
SlotBacks are usually the quicker, smaller WideOuts who line up at the Y Position, off the Line.
FlankerBacks are usually the faster WideOuts who line up at the Z Position, off the Line.
The Split End prototype would be about 6030/225 or so.
The Flanker prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
The SlotBack prototype would be about 5010/195 or so.
And I'm adding a 4th: The Slot End.
The term may make some Readers cringe, for the same reason that the term Jumbo Shrimp might.
And it's a term, as far as I know, entirely of my own Invention.
But it is of course the perfect formational term for a WideOut lined up in the Slot but on the Line of Scrimmage.
And it seems to me to be an excellent term to describe the Skill Set of a WideOut who's not especially tall ~ like a Split End ~ not especially fast ~ like a FlankerBack ~ and not especially spry ~ like a SlotBack ~ and is often a bit Beefy.
And it's also a pretty apt description of a WideOut tall enough to be a Split End, but not fast enough.
In other words: a WideOut who profiles as a Slot End. But I digress.
However a given Coach chooses to deploy the Soldiers at his disposal is of course entirely up to him, and most WideOuts will see Snaps at multiple Positions and in multiple Alignments, but I believe that it is valuable to categorize WideOuts in terms of classic Skill Sets, to better define the differences in the kind of Impact they might wield at the next level.
This is how I break things down when I'm evaluating Split Ends, Flankers, and SlotBacks:
Separation: Getting Open. This encompasses Combat Skills & Fluidity to beat Press, Acceleration out'f the Blocks, Fluidity and Ricochet in navigating Traffic, Route Running Precision, the capacity to deceive Defenders, and Field Vision for Timing Seems and Open Zones. All other Aspects of a WideOut's Job Description are dwarfed by this one.
Catch Point Capacity: In Transit or Contested: Hands, WingSpan, Vertical Agility, Combat Skills, and Timing.
Yards After Catch are well and fine, but it seems to me that 90% of the Value of a Flex End and any WideOut is getting open and catching the Ball. Anyone who's read my Work extensively knows that I consider Blocking to be the Heart & Soul of FootBall, but that is a philosophical position, and I recognize that with most Philosophies, where it comes to Wide Receivers and Flex Ends...it's just Gravy. And so is Yards After Catch: Moving The Chains is What Wins.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Combat Skills
* Field Vision
Catch Point Capacity
Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Catch Point Capacity: Impressive. Mediocre Combat Skills, but good Hands and impressive Tracking & Timing.
Blocking Bonus: Effective. Anderson actually played Tight End at Cali, so he was forced to develop a bit of Core Power.
Stephen Anderson is a Slot End. There. Now he's not a "Tweener."
He's not gonna scorch too many Defenses, but Anderson exhibits a sweet Burst off The Line, and is both remarkably slippery and quite adept at reading the Tactical LandScape, working the Traffic, and slipping Free.
And if you grade'm as a Slot End as a Blocker ~ I do ~ and not as a Tight End, for God's Sake, he's got the Will and the Way.
He needs to keep developing his Combat Skills, both as a Blocker, as and as a Receiver against Press Coverage and at The CatchPoint, but he impresses me as a guy with an Appetite for Combat, the wily Instincts to read and to exploit Coverage, and both the Intelligence and the Drive to develop both his Combat Skills and his Field Vision.
Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk.
Stephen Anderson has the Acceleration, the Fluidity, and the Frame to become an outstanding Slot End, one who contributes as a Blocker and who routinely Gets Open, makes Catches...and Moves The Chains.
And he's got the Intelligence and the Drive to fulfill that Potential.
As I see it, he is a very good Bet.
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!!