Offensive Guard ~ Arie Kouandjio ~ Alabama Crimson Tide ~ 6045/312
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 Guards:
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 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 Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, 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.
* 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. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Awful. Dangerously inconsistent Launch Velocity, terrible Fluidity, and awful Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Exceptional. Superior Paw Power, impressive Mechanics, and an excellent Frame.
Intangibles: Impressive. He occasionally gets lost out on the 2nd Level, but generally finds a Target in time to engage him. What I really liked, though, was his Motor. He played consistently tough for 60 minutes every time I watched'm.
Run Blocking: Competitive. Impressive Drive Power, but incredibly inconsistent. Excellence is interspersed with Mediocrity due to sporadic Launch Velocity, which exposes his mediocre Core Power. Exceptional Combat Skills, adept Processing Speed to decipher the rapidly evolving Tactical LandScape, and an excellent Motor, but he'd damned well better get together with a Power Blocking Team, because outside a Phone Booth his awful Acceleration will kill'm.
Pass Blocking: Mediocre. Impressive Anchoring Strength when he gets launched on time, but with far more Torso Power than Core Power, that sporadic Launch Velocity could prove catastrophic if he doesn't iron it out. Exceptional Combat Skills and impressive Processing Speed in diagnosing Blocking Schemes, but just horrible Fluidity. As a Right Guard in a Phone Booth in a Power Blocking Scheme, he could conceivably develop into a competitive Pass Blocker if he cleans up that Launch Velocity, but that issue, his heinous Fluidity, and his mediocre Core Power could spell Disaster.
He plays Too High, Too Often, and that, combined with mediocre Core Power and Launch Velocity that is potentially fatally inconsistent makes him a marginal starting caliber Prospect, in my view. Inside a Phone Booth he has a Prayer: I personally consider it absolutely crucial that he get drafted by a Power Blocking Team to play Right Guard.
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!!