Offensive Tackle ~ Antonio Garcia ~ Troy Trojans
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: Awful. Very poor Core Power and Torso Power.
Agility: Phenomenal. Excellent Launch Velocity, tremendous Acceleration and Speed, and extraordinary Fluidity.
Frame: Awful. Too Tall for decent Vertical Leverage, and a very short WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Awful Positioning and Lateral Leverage and Inconsistent FootWork, but excellent Persistence.
Processing Speed: Marginal, both reading Defenses in Pass Protection and finding Targets in the Running Game.
Motor: Excellent Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: With that spectacular Power to Agility Disparity, Garcia is obviously a Zone Scheme Team Prospect, but right now I'd have to call'm awful as a Run Blocker, because he not only lacks Drive Power, but he lacks the WingSpan to get to Blocks consistently in the first place, the Combat Skills to sustain Blocks when he does get there, and the Processing Speed and Field Vision to find MidFielder Targets, DownField...Having said all that, his phenomenal Fluidity and Speed gives'm the Potential to compete effectively, but he's got a long, long ways to go in order to get there!!
Pass Blocking: Marginal, but with tremendous Potential. His Fluidity to Mirror is elite.
The Guy's Agility is that of a Top 5 Talent, but his Power, WingSpan, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed are horrible.
But, Man: There's a strong Motor, there. And a strong Motor can bring the Combat Skills and Processing Speed a long, long way...which is a damned good thing, because a long, long way is what he needs to travel!!
I believe that my Patriots overpaid for'm, but Coach Dante Scarnecchia is a Magician with Trench Gorillas, so they're at the very least well-positioned to maximize their Chances of getting a good Return on Investment, here!!
* Editor's Note: If anyone's offended by my use of the term "Trench Gorilla", allow me to explain two things: First, I worship Trench Gorillas, and the term is applied reverently. Second: I believe that we're all descended from the Jungle.
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!!