CenterFielder ~ Bobby McCain ~ Memphis Tigers 5094/195
CenterFielders are indeed the Last Line of Defense. But I sense that with the increasing Hybridization of Skill Sets in the Years to come, it will be advantageous for Teams to seek CenterFielders who can not only act as a Reserve Defender in Support of their CornerBacks, but who can ~ at a moment's notice, if need be ~ flip into Direct Coverage.
As such, I have discovered a natural Synergy between the Skill Sets of CenterFielders...and NickelBacks.
CenterFielders, like RoverBacks and Gryphons, are Hybrids, tasked both with Pass Coverage and Run Defense. Unlike Rovers and Gryphons, however, CenterFielders are expected to prioritize Pass Defense. As such, I'll be breaking my Evaluations down along the same lines as with the others, but with a decidedly divergent Emphasis:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
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.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Exceptional, but considerably better in Zone than in Man ~ a natural CenterFielder.
Run Defense: Impressive. Good Motor, impressive Combat Skills, and impressive Tackling Technique.
Pass Coverage: On Tape: Mediocre. But I'm projecting McCain to become a 21st Century CenterFielder ~ unlikely though it may be!! ~ where I believe his Grade would improve considerably: As a CenterFielder, his mediocre Long Speed would inhibit him, but his exceptional Field Vision and excellent Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration translate, I believe, into Exceptional Potential, and while his Size & Length might be greatly detrimental on the Boundaries, I believe he'd nevertheless have Exceptional Potential, too, as a NickelBack, where his Agility matches up nicely.
With Defenses rapidly evolving into myriad Hybrid Concepts in response to the latest series of Rule Changes, it seems to me that it makes a great deal of sense for Defensive Coordinators to seek out NickelBacks who combine Agility with Field Vision and Run Defense Chops as what I call the 21st Century CenterFielder ~ an Hybrid Defender.
Meanwhile, I'll keep scouting with that Tactical Evolution in mind...and watch to see if it ever comes to pass!!
Bobby McCain strikes me as an excellent Fit for that Skill Set: Deployed on the Boundaries against Split Ends and other such tall, beefy Critters, he's apt to have all sorts of difficulties matching up against them, not only because he's not the biggest guy on the Field, but because Long Speed is not his Long Suit...Yet deployed as a NickelBack, which would predominantly be against SlotBacks and other smaller, quicker Players, he'd match up very nicely.
But the reason you can have'm out there in the first place in "Base" Defense, rather'n hoping you get a chance to send'm in on "Sub Packages" is because with his exceptional Field Vision and Agility, he's a natural Fit for CenterFielder.
And while he's Short, he's definitely not Small: At 6020 or so, 195 pounds could be considered a bit Lanky, and you might fear for'is Durability. But at 5094? 195 Pounds is flat out Beefy. And in Run Defense, McCain takes an active hand and exhibits impressive Combat Skills and Tackling Technique, even as a Corner. As a CenterFielder, playing constantly DownHill, which allows far better Field Vision and Momentum, I suspect he'd make a far larger Impact.
His mediocre Long Speed pulls the reigns back on'm a Click or two, even in my Perception, both as a NickelBack on Passing Downs and as a CenterFielder on Running Downs and Ambiguous Downs, and the Time & Training that need to be invested if someone was actually smart enough to draft this kid with the Role I have in mind also affect the Value of his Stock relative, say, to a Plug & Play CenterFielder, so my Grade & Rank on McCain will reflect these things.
As always, my Scouting Reports and Prospectuses are written with what I perceive, in my fevered Imagination, to be the optimal Employment & Deployment of a Prospect, and what his theoretical Impact and, hence, Value would be in my Phantasmagorical World. How his Coaches ultimately deploy him is of course another matter!!
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!!