Offensive Tackle ~ Conor McDermott ~ Los Angeles Bruins ~ 6081/308
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. McDermott doesn't seem to possess much intrinsic Power, and at 6075, he's additionally hindered by a Leverage Liability, as shorter, more compact Foes are often able to get up under his Pads.
Agility: Marginal. Mediocre Launch Velocity into'is Stance, mediocre Acceleration to the Flanks and DownField in the Running Game, and marginal Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to redirect in the Open Field.
Update: Mediocre but with immense Potential. His Combine Numbers are awesome, but I don't feel as if they translate. Yet if anyone can teach'm how to transform Intrinsic Agility into Effective Agility, it's Dante Scarnecchia, the apporpriately legendary Offensive Line Coach of my beloved New EngLand Patriots, the Team that drafted'm.
Frame: Deficient. McDermott's 6075 Height puts him at a substantial Disadvantage, both in terms of exacerbating his lack of Power and in exaggerating his lack of Fluidity. His WingSpan, in and of itself, is solid at a reported 34 Inches, but in extending from so far up his towering Frame, he all too often cannot initiate Combat quickly or forcefully.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. A solid Command of Lateral Leverage, I think, but poor Paw Positioning ~ frequently hitting the Perimeter, not the Core, of his Foe's Frame ~ compounded by inconsistent Paw Persistence and FootWork.
Processing Speed: Impressive. Both McDermott's Speed & Efficacy in Reading and Reacting to Defensive Deception in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game seem consistently adept, although his Fluidity to redirect in Open Space nevertheless translates into a generous helping of Whiffs.
Motor: Impressive Effort and impressive Stamina.
Run Blocking: Marginal. McDermott's mediocre Power and mediocre Combat Skills undermine his Chances of becoming an Impact Player at The Point of Attack, and his marginal Fluidity to redirect in Open Space hamper his capacity, despite impressive Processing Speed and Field Vision to make much of an Impact Behind Enemy Lines.
Pass Blocking: Mediocre. He's tall enough and has WingSpan enough to at least get in the way more often than not, and he reacts quickly and effective to Stunts and such, but his marginal Fluidity to Mirror is an enormous Liability.
As predisposed as I am to like Prospects with BasketBall BackGrounds such as Conor McDermott boasts, I am likewise predisposed to look cautiously at such Towers as McDermott, due to my focus on Vertical Leverage.
And I'm afraid that McDermott seems to me to be a classic case: One of those Offensive Tackle Prospects who are simply too tall for their own good. Mind you: It's not as if being 6075 dooms a Prospect to Failure. Nate "Universal" Solder is forging a pretty solid Career at 6081, just as I expected, while 6072 Robert HavenStein, who I described as Vastly OverRated before the 2015 Draft, is well on'is way to exposing me as one stupid Son of a Bitch!!
Just another example, perhaps, of what I like to call the Wafer-Thin Line between a Top 10 Talent...and a UFA!!
I am not privy to Testimony from Team Physicians or generally of older Tape, but I can guarantee you that Mad Bill Belichick did not spend a 1st Round Pick based on what I saw on Tape of Chandler Jones's 2011 Campaign!!
Anyway...While some super tall Prospects like Solder, Mario Williams, and the legendary Edward "Too Tall" Jones thrive at the next level, I believe that the most common thread connecting the lot'f'm is an elite level of Fluidity...and despite McDermott's BasketBall BackGround, I simply do not perceive that in'm...quite the opposite, in fact.
Even so, this Reconnaissance Report would not be complete if I failed to make note that in the Intangible Aspects of this Great Game, he is very impressive, and that if his Combat Skills catch up to his impressive Processing Speed, Field Vision, Intensity, and Stamina, he could very well compete for Snaps and even compete to start.
* Update: No Net Change, actually, but he's an interesting Prospect. He's way too tall, his Power is awful, and his amazing Intrinsic Agility doesn't translate and maybe never will...But if Coach Scarnecchia can somehow find a way to do so, and also find some way to Beef Up McDermott's horrible Core Power, he could develop into quite the Tackle.
It seems like a Long Shot, mind you, so I'm rating'm accordingly!!
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!!