QuarterBack ~ Baker MayField ~ Oklahoma Sooners ~ 6004/216
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ The Men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannons, the more likely I believe it is that they persistently depend upon that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card, and thus fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for The Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision ~ 100. It’s ridiculous that someone that short doesn’t routinely get passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage, but MayField himself claims that he probably gets’m knocked down less’n anyone at The Combine, and The Tape certainly seems to back’m up. As for Mechanics? Beautiful. Touch, Timing, and Trajectory? Magnificent.
Pocket Presence ~ 100, and only because I can’t go higher. I’ve read criticism about MayField’s penchant for rolling out’f the Pocket, and normally I’d be aboard. But I perceive MayField’s penchant for rolling out as functional, not as panic. Particularly, it seems to me that when he’s doing so it’s to compensate for his lack of height, combined, depending on how the blocking’s going, with vertical obstructions in the form of 300 pound men trying to kill him. I simply don’t sense an ounce of fear in MayField, only a ruthless, relentless, cold-blooded determination to find the open man. He always keeps his eyes downfield, no matter the chaos around’m, and his Accuracy on the run is incredible.
FirePower ~ 60. A decent natural arm, combined with tremendous Mechanics.
Height does matter, and there’ve been countless QuarterBacks who otherwise had the right stuff to succeed but who simply hadn’t found a way, literally, to overcome that obstacle ~ namely the crew of tall, sprawling 300 Pounders who’re trying to kill’m…Developing that level of spatial mastery, combined with the sensational level of Processing Speed, to go along with the quick-twitch agility, that it takes to take advantage of that spatial mastery, is rare, I’ve come to see.
But Baker MayField has it.
And as a QuarterBack? The ability to rapidly read and react to the tactical landscape after the Snap, to tear through Progressions at light speed and deliver the ball with consistently phenomenal Touch, Timing, and Trajectory, to put his Receivers in the best position to win? The ability to consistently stay a step ahead of Defenses? To consistently Move The Chains? To drive them crazy and to terrify them? The ability to inspire and motivate teammates?
Baker MayField was born for this role. He’s like Rudy Ruettiger ~ if Rudy played QuarterBack ~ but with Talent.
I’ve read a lot of Johnny Manziel comps, in researching Baker MayField, but that’s just foolish.
Johnny Manziel is a Hybrid QuarterBack ~ one who’s always looking to run.
Baker MayField is simply a QuarterBack.
The closest comp to’m should be obvious, I think: Drew Brees.
Would you trade multiple 1st Rounders to get Drew Brees as a Rookie? Yeah, me too.
But you know who Baker MayField really reminds me of?
Pay the man!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually possible.
* #1 *
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!