SpeedBack ~ Wayne Gallman ~ Clemson Tigers
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: Impressive. Mediocre Speed, DownField, but exceptional Acceleration through the Line of Scrimmage: He doesn't tend to rack up HighLight Reel Plays, but he get there rapidly: He isn't Fast, but he's Quick, which is exponentially more valuable in Moving The Chains and winning FootBall Games. Exceptional Fluidity and Ricochet, as well.
Field Vision: Effective and potentially impressive if he breaks some Bad Habits. He generally Synchronizes his Timing with his Linemen exceptionally well before hitting the Hole, but all too often pulls that Barry Sanders Crap where he dances around, looking for the Big Play, and consequently torches what would've been a decent Gain.
* Update: Competitive. I didn't account sufficiently for that Barry Sanders Crap.
Blocking: Exceptional. Mediocre Power, but excellent Combat Skills and outstanding Motor.
Receiving: Excellent. Exceptional Route Runner. Terrific Agility. Exceptional Timing and terrific Hands. After the Catch, he won't Beast on anyone, but he exhibits impressive Field Vision, terrific Agility, and a tremendous Motor.
Bonus Round: That absolutely awesome Motor'f his!! Gallman breaks far more Tackles than somebody with his mediocre Core Power has a right to, blocks far better than he ought to, and racks up far more Yards!!
Then again, those who play fearlessly sometimes outlast everyone.
Wayne Gallman, despite an evident lack of Core Power, is the most Pro Ready HalfBack that I've written up at this early juncture, even though I certainly don't rate'm as highly as most'f the others I've written up, so far.
His unusually well-developed Blocking Game means that you can trust not to get your QuarterBack killed...And that means that if he can contribute as a Receiver, you can already deploy'm on any Snap where you might be passing the Ball...And Gallman boasts an equally well-developed Receiving Game. So that's 2/3 of the Snaps, right there.
He's no Power Runner, mind you, and would optimally be deployed on those 2/3 of the Snaps only: The Pure Passing Downs and the Hybrid Downs where a Pass or Run is equally likely. Of course you can make a strong Argument that there are very few pure Running Downs, these days, which is why I find the general tendency to devalue HalfBacks like Wayne Gallman ~ lacking they the Frame to be employed as 1000 Snap/350 Carry "WorkHorse" Backs ~ so amusing: The prevalent Tendency to spread Defenses out with Spread Formations and then run the Ball plays quite clearly to the Advantage of SpeedBacks, it seems to me, as the Gaps between the Tackles afford them Space to roam.
But I digress: Wayne Gallman is an impressive Talent with a tremendous Motor and a well-rounded Game who you can plug and play, right away. I believe that he's ready to make a substantial Impact, and immediately.
* Update: Frankly, I believe that I both put too much Emphasis on Gallman's Intangibles and overrated one'f'm, namely his Field Vision: That Tendency to Bounce It Outside in search of Splash Plays, to the detriment of Moving The Chains and keeping the Ball, has absolutely no place on my Field of Battle, and will indeed likely cripple Gallman's Chances of working his way up The Depth Chart, wherever he goes, if he doesn't drop the Habit Immediately.
There's a Fine Line between Opportunistic and Frenetic.
I preach Intelligence and Drive and integrate them heavily into my Trajectory Formula, but as that Tendency casts Doubt on Gallman's FootBall Intelligence, we're basically balancing a Mountain of Drive, combined with impressive Blocking and Catching Chops, against mediocre Power and impressive Agility. He's definitely got Potential to contribute, but I gotta confess that I substantially overrated Gallman a few months ago, when I gave'm a 1st/2nd Round Grade.
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!!