Panthers ~ 6006/288
Do you agree? I hope so, and propose to break them down into 2 simple Categories, so we know what we're taking about:
Grizzlies ~ Enormous and Powerful Defensive Tackles noted for taking up Multiple Blockers and dominating the Middle.
Wolves ~ Smaller and Athletic Defensive Tackles noted for penetrating the BackField and for their Range.
When evaluating all Defensive Tackles, these are the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power. Above all: Core Power. Upper body Strength is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the upper body strength in the world still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game. And those Players who invest the time and effort to develop superior Core Power are far likelier to enjoy sustained good Health and stay on the Field.
Agility. Lateral 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 stiff and lumbering out there.
Combat Skills. Mechanics. Launch Velocity, Paw Power, and Technique.
Intangibles. Diagnostic Capacity, Processing Speed, and Motor. How effectively he masters Spatial Diagnostics & Angles, how rapidly he recognizes and implements Blocking Schemes based on changing Defensive Tactics, and of course: Drive. How badly he wants it. These are of course difficult things to assess, but it's crucial to at least try to.
Agility. Magnificent. Sensational Lateral Velocity, phenomenal Fluidity, and preposterous Launch Velocity.
Combat Skills. Phenomenal. Spectacular Paw Power and incredible Combat Tactics.
Intangibles. Sensational. Extraordinary Field Vision, incredible Instincts, and an utterly relentless Motor.
What these folks fail to understand, I believe, is the crucial difference between Size...and Core Power.
Size matters, of course.
But Core Power is even more critical to success in The Trenches, and Aaron Donald is oozing with it.
He has already clearly demonstrated, over and over again, both on Tape and at the Senior Bowl, his Capacity to not only compete with strong, talented, and far larger Linemen but to dominate them. I believe that Aaron Donald is going to be far more effective holding the Point of Attack than is even now generally perceived.
And there's certainly no argument over his Capacity to penetrate and blow Runs up, which is simply phenomenal.
His combination of surprising Power, of phenomenal Agility, of incredibly advanced Combat Tactics, and of astonishing Field Vision and Instincts coupled with a relentless Motor are what Dreams are made of...or NightMares.
His Future as a consistently disruptive, penetrating Pass Rusher could be magnificent.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value