Slot Corner ~ Armani Watts ~ Texas A&M Aggies
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
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:
Slot Corners ~ Upon Further Review, I confess that I believe that I went A Bridge Too Far with this Business of rebranding NickelBacks as CenterFielders. CenterFielders ~ "Free Safeties" to you Earthlings!! ~ are optimally Hybrids capable of Direct Coverage, anyway, and my premise that NickelBacks ought to be able to manifest the Processing Speed that CenterFielders need, as well as the Run Defense Aspect of a CenterFielder was pushing Evolution too far, too fast!!
It would be terrific for Defenses if NickelBacks were all spry yet beefy 5090/210 Pounders whose Frames could stand up to the rigors of the Run Defense that is an important Aspect of a CenterFielder's Game.
But even then, their Height would be a Liability in surveying the Tactical LandScape.
NickelBacks are of course Pass Defense Specialists, but I will include Run Defense in my Evaluations. But I will note, of course, that as with Blocking as it pertains to WideOuts, it is desirable, yes, but its absence is no Red Flag.
This is how I break down Slot Corners:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!! ~ and Speed!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Field Vision.
CatchPoint Capacity: Tracking, Timing, Combat Skills, and WingSpan.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* Speed ~ Corner and WideOut are really the only Roles where 40 Times matter.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play: Run/Pass, Routes, Picks, and such.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Agility ~ Fluidity, Ricochet, Acceleration, and Speed, baby!!
* Processing Speed ~ Reading and Reacting with Speed & Precision to Routes and WideOuts.
* Field Vision ~ Processing Speed with an emphasis on the Tactical LandScape.
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Agility: 70. I'm gonna go with 70, based on'is Tape. If I were going by his Combine Fluidity numbers and his Pro Day Speed numbers, I'd give'm about a 12, but he beefed up, I say, 20 freaking pounds over the course of the Draft Season, going from 192 at the Senior Bowl to about 210 or so at the Pro Day. What a jackass. Presumably, he was trying to dispel concerns about his smaller Frame and his Weight, and the results were as disastrous as some of the gambles he's all too prone to take on the Field of Battle ~ more on that in a minute. Suffice to say: I'm going with his Tape's excellent Fluidity and adequate Speed, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he'll smarten up soon and return to his far more natural weight by the time he joins his NFL team on the Field, and ignoring his Draft Season beefing-up and his subsequent transformation from a Spry Fly into somebody that any self-respecting Zombie could catch and eat.
Processing Speed: 50. I've already made the decision to transform the cerebral categories into something more complex, along the lines of Processing Speed and Diagnostic Acuity or Judgement falling under Field Vision. Clearly, Watts exhibits the need for such distinctions, for his Processing Speed, in and of itself, is exceptional, and worthy of a Grade far higher than 50, but his Diagnostic Acuity and his Judgement are both very shaky: He gambles and guesses far too often.
Run Defense: 50. Mind you, I'd be going much lower with this, were I projecting Watts to remain a CenterFielder, as as a CenterFielder he does indeed gamble too much for The Last Line of Defense, and compounds that dubious trait by exhibiting inconsistent intensity ~ likely trying to protect his smaller Frame ~ and marginal Tackling. As a Slot Corner, however, with far more limited Run Defense responsibilities, I'm speculating that he might feel free to be far less conservative with his Frame and return to his ferocious 2015 form, before injuries rendered'm conservative.
Pass Coverage: 50 with potential to rise to 75 or sink to 25. Again: far too much gambling and guessing, but his excellent Fluidity and often lightning-fast and even correct Processing Speed translates to exceptional potential.
CatchPoint Capacity: 70. Excellent Timing & Tracking and Vertical Agility, though with a very short WingSpan.
Ceiling? Warrior. 2nd Round. He's got the Brains and the Fluidity to become an extraordinary Slot Corner. His Speed is moderate, but Speed isn't anywhere near as crucial as Fluidity and Ricochet when you're playing the Slot, and his Processing Speed is a potentially enormous asset, in addition to which his CatchPoint Capacity is impressive.
Floor? Reserve. 6th/7th Round. His short, short WingSpan and his diminutive Frame are both substantial Liabilities which render it virtually impossible for'm to play Press Coverage with any level of efficacy, and also greatly compromise his capacity to navigate Traffic or tackle effectively in Run Support. Furthermore, his gambling and guessing in both Pass Coverage and Run Support need to stop, or the Big Plays he gives up could get'm run off the team all together.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Scary!! Not bad, just...scary. There're a lot of reasons why things could go badly for Watts at the next level. The most dangerous would be that the team he ends up with fails to recognize that he lacks the Frame and the mentality to play CenterFielder. If they deploy'm there, as The Last Line of Defense, not only is he very likely to be an enormous Liability in Run Support, but there's a big chance not only of his surrendering enough huge Plays both in Coverage and in Run Support to get'm fired, but of his getting killed, out there: He simply lacks the Power and the substantial Frame to bear up under the beating of a CenterFielder's Run Support responsibilities.
As a Slot Corner, though ~ which is of course how I'm evaluating him ~ he's exhibited Brains enough and Agility enough to excel in Coverage and at the CatchPoint, and the potential to compete an indeed even to excel in Run Support.
Whether or not he masters the Game well enough, and disciplines himself well enough, to overcome his penchant for unwarranted gambling, is a big question. There are many questions about his decision making, not least of all his bewildering recent weight gain, but his potential is exceptional, and well worth a mid round roll'f the dice.
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!