Center ~ Benjamin Finney ~ Kansas State WildCats ~ 6036/318
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 Centers:
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: Competitive. Effective Launch Velocity but mediocre Acceleration. Adequate Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Outstanding. Excellent Combat Skills and tremendous Hand Speed. Wrestling BackGround.
Intangibles: Phenomenal. Finney consistently exhibits extraordinary Processing Speed, Reading & Reacting Rapidly and effectively to the Roiling, Boiling Tactical LandScape in front'f'm, and he's got an outstanding Motor.
Run Blocking: Mediocre. Marginal Drive Power to project Power and mediocre Acceleration DownField and to the Flanks, but Finney's extraordinary Combat Skills and Field Vision enable'm to compensate and compete.
Pass Blocking: Superb. This is clearly his Strength, I believe. His Anchoring Strength to reject Power is competitive, and'is Fluidity to Mirror is only adequate, but here his tremendous Combat Skills and Field Vision allow'm to excel.
I'm a big fan of writing up guys based on their optimum Role, but I'd have to agree that Center is Finney's.
And as that goes, 6040/324 is pretty damned good for Center, as well.
Finney's mediocre Power & Agility, combined with'is marginal WingSpan, will probably forestall Greatness at the next level, but I'm really impressed by the way he reads the Field and by the way he does Battle in the Trenches. I believe that he'll probably earn a starting Gig at the next level, and he may very well hold one for many Years. And while his physical attributes don't impress, his capacity to lead an Offensive Line, both morally and tactically, certainly does.
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!!