Offensive Tackle ~ Maximilian Rich ~ Harvard Crimson ~ 6072/312
The Gutters are riddled with the Corpses of Teams that were built around so-called "skill" Players ~ teams that delighted their Fantasy FootBall Fans every Year, all the way until January...until The Only Games That Really Matter.
It is then, of course, that the Capacity ~ or lack thereof ~ to Move The Chains and protect the QuarterBack against PlayOff Caliber Defenses rears its ugly head. And another Team built for Fantasy FootBall bites the dust.
This is how I break things down, when I'm evaluating Offensive Tackles:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the upper body Strength in the world will still fail if you simply can't dig in your Heels. But Core Power enables an Offensive Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and above all: Fluidity or Core Agility. Core Agility is even more essential to sustained good Health ~ and to sustained good FootBall ~ than Core Power. The ability to react with Serpentine smoothness is a tremendous Asset in all Aspects of the Game, and certainly in the Hand to Hand Combat that characterizes Trench Warfare. All the Power in the World goes only so far if you're lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Horizontal Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power ~ lower body Power. Core Power trumps Torso Power. Tyrannosaurus Rex had exceptional Core Power.
* Torso Power ~ upper Body Power. Important, but not crucial. T Rex had lousy Torso Power...yet was King.
* Anchoring Strength in the Passing Game. The capacity to Stand One's Ground.
* Drive Power in the Running Game. The capacity to drive your man back.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Mediocre, but Rich is a Classic Case of a Prospect who exhibits mediocre Functional Power, playing for a Division 27 Team, yet displayed outstanding Raw Power at his Pro Day, and might just possibly have the Intelligence and Drive to convert it into Functional Power on the Field of Battle, give enough Time & Training at the Professional Level.
Agility: Mediocre, but...Ditto!! Mediocre on the Division 63 GridIron, yet his Pro Day Speed Numbers were tremendous and his Fluidity Numbers were sensational. Translating the Raw into the Functional is a daunting UnderTaking, and the Casualty Rate is very high, but he shows enough on Tape to suggest that he might just have a Prayer!!
Frame: Mediocre. Taller than optimal for Vertical Leverage, though with a sufficient WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Effective, in all regards ~ Lateral Leverage, Positioning, FootWork, and Persistence.
Processing Speed: Effective, both in Pass Protection and in the Running Game.
Motor: Effective Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: Competitive, with tremendous Potential if he can beat the Odds and unlock that Raw Power and Agility.
Pass Blocking: Ditto.
It's pretty clear-cut: Based on his Play, Maximilian Rich is a Reserve Prospect, maybe worth a Late Rounder, but factoring in his magnificent Pro Day, his Prospects change dramatically, in my eyes. Mind you: I'm the last guy to try to tell you that Numbers Trump Tape, and the Casualty Rate when trying to transform terrific Pro Day Numbers into Functional FootBall Power and Agility is pretty damned high...But I'd be detrimental in my Duties to anyone who might happen to read this Prospectus, if I didn't point out that the difference between the level of Coaching, in terms not only of Playing, but of Conditioning, between Division 72 and the Pros is astronomical...and that means that there is a very realistic, if not probable, Chance that Maximilian Rich will unlock the phenomenal Power & Agility that his Pro Day suggests.
And if he does...We're talking about legitimate Pro Bowl Potential.
I'd bet a Draft Pick on that.
After all: He went to Harvard!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!