Yeti ~ Angelo Blackson ~ Auburn Tigers
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Yetis ~ I wanted to go with "Gorillas", but there's too much lingering Stigma with that. Yetis have the Size of Nose Tackles but the WingSpan of Defensive Ends. As such, they are genuine Hybrids, and can conceivably line up anywhere from Tackle to Tackle, across from the Offensive Line. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6050/325 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Yetis may often or even routinely do line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Yetis, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 stiff and lumbering out there.
Combat Skills: Paw Power, Mechanics ~ Hand Speed & Positioning ~ and of course: Frame.
Intangibles: Processing Speed and Motor. Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to how the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape effects Blocking Schemes, and Motor is about Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 against the Run.
* Drive Power in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Paw Power ~ The Power & Speed of the initial Punch.
* Paw Velocity ~ How active the Hands are.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Frame ~ Above all: WingSpan.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Marginal. Decent Launch Velocity, but deficient Fluidity and inadequate Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. Raw Mechanics and mediocre Persistence.
Intangibles: Adequate. Decent Field Vision but mediocre Motor: Good Effort, I think, but he fades alarmingly early.
Run Defense: Mediocre. Competitive Anchoring Strength at the Point of Attack, but mediocre Combat Skills and insufficient Acceleration to produce much BackField Disruption or to make many Plays In Pursuit: a pure 2 Gapper.
Pass Rush: Marginal. Competitive Power, but marginal Agility and mediocre Combat Skills.
Mister Blackson brings enough Power to go with his enormous Size to the Field of Battle to be of developmental interest, I believe, to Teams that employ 2 Gap Defenses, where he could prospectively develop into a Contributing Factor as a 34 Defensive End and quite possibly as a 43 Defensive Tackle. And indeed I would not rule out the Possibility of his developing into a Starter at either Gig or as an Hybrid. But I believe that his lack of Agility and his raw, developmental Combat Skills translate to his Potential almost certainly being limited to that of a mauling Block Eater, even if he does successfully develop, and as such I do not perceive enough Potential to warrant more than a Later Round Pick.
*In Retrospect, as it were, the Titans obviously felt differently, as is of course their Privilege!!
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!!