PowerBack ~ Kalen Ballage ~ Arizona State Sun Devils ~ 6015/228
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. Impressive Core Power and impressive Torso Power. It's actually difficult to assess, as there're so many times when he doesn't effectively bring it to bear...But when he does, he's a handful to handle.
Agility: 40. No, that's not a Typo. Outstanding Speed, yet, but as I always say: Acceleration, Ricochet, and Fluidity are what Move The Chains and win Games and Championships...and in those aspects I grade'm as all mediocre.
Processing Speed: 25. Horrific. Yeah, he just sees lost, out there, way too often. It might be a function of his having played too many positions, earlier, but in any case he misses lanes, mistimes lanes, and is often a tick late.
Blocking: 33. Potentially, he could be outstanding, because he's got the Core Power and a tremendous WingSpan to work with. But his Motor is choppy, to say the least, and his Combat Skills are extremely raw.
Receiving: 80. Having beat on'm incessantly up to this point, it's a relief to me to be able to laud this poor kid!! Indeed, as a Receiver, Ballage exhibits remarkable Route Running prowess and even a little bit of a Route Running Repertoire. Outstanding Hands at the Catch Point, and while he lacks most aspects of Agility, once he's headed downfield with the FootBall, his Power and Speed can finally be used to full Advantage!! Receiving, in fact, might be his Calling.
As an HalfBack, he's got issues, and I don't know if he'll overcome'm.
For a PowerBack, he's got phenomenal Speed, and he's not one of those PowerBacks ~ I assign the term based almost entirely on whether or not they reach the 220 Pound threshold ~ who lack Core Power.
But he's got very little wiggle, and, far more importantly, his Field Vision and Processing Speed are horrible.
On top of that, he's a very shaky Blocker.
If Ballage can't improve those aspects of his Game dramatically, there is a very real chance that he never sees the FootBall Field on meaningful Snaps. And even if he does, his FrankenSteinesque lack of Ricochet and Fluidity could very easily prove fatal. Yes, there are enormous and multitudinous impediment to'is chances of success, I think.
On the other hand, he's a tremendous Receiving threat.
Ceiling? Contender. 3rd Round. That's certainly far lower a Ceiling than most would attribute to'm, but I perceive limitations to both his Ricochet and Fluidity on the one hand and to'is Processing Speed on the other such that, even should the planets align, his Ceiling is that of an excellent Receiver but a very inconsistent, all or nothing kind of Runner.
Floor? Lunatic Fringe, baby. UFA. Ballage can run really fast in a straight line ~ once he gets 10 yards or so to get going, that is ~ and with Power, so there's always the possibility of 80 Yards, if the Blocking is perfect and the Defense sucks...And Ballage is also an exceptional Receiver...But his Blocking currently sucks, and if you can block consistently and reliably, it doesn't matter how good a Receiver you are, because no Coach with half a brain is sending you out there. And if his Processing Speed doesn't greatly improve, he's gonna rack up negative Yardage and minimal Gains.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Very, very sketchy. He's got a lot to overcome, and while Combat Skills can be learned, thus giving him a very realistic chance of developing into a FlexBack ~ a 50/50 Run/Receive guy ~ I am not optimistic about his chances of developing into an effective Runner. FrankenStein Fluidity and shaky Field Vision are a very bad combo.
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!!