Lion End ~ Bronson Kaufusi ~ Brigham Young Cougars ~ 6063/285
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:
Lions ~ This is my term for Defensive Linemen with the Size of a smaller and faster Defensive Tackle and the WingSpan of a Defensive End. Like the Grizzlies, they can line up at End in a 34 or at Tackle in a 43, or just about anywhere in either Formation, and conceivably play either 1 Gap or 2 Gap. The Prototype would be about 6050/300 or less.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Lions may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Lions, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 against the Run.
* Drive Power in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Phenomenal. Explosive Launch Velocity, outstanding Closing Speed, and tremendous Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Mediocre, but with Potential. Marginal Mechanics but impressive Persistence and excellent WingSpan.
Intangibles: Impressive. Moderate Field Vision. Excellent Motor.
Run Defense: Marginal, but with Potential. He'll probably have huge Problems at The Point of Attack, initially, due to having marginal Power and mediocre Combat Skills, but if he develops the latter, he's got the WingSpan to become competitive. And he's got the Agility to become an huge Force In Pursuit and in Disrupting the BackField.
Pass Rush: Competitive and with enormous Potential. I don't foresee'm driving too many Linemen back into the QuarterBack. He's just too tall to get up under their Pads, and he doesn't have the Core Power. But if he can develop his Combat Skills, he got the WingSpan, the Speed, and the Fluidity to make an tremendous Impact.
But there are occasionally Athletes who are so intrinsically agile that they can overcome this.
And those who due often render their Heights doubly advantageous.
I believe that Bronson Kaufusi will prove to be one such guy. His Functional Power is not impressive, due both to his Height and to what I perceive to be mediocre Core Power, but his Intrinsic Fluidity ~ highlighted mathematically by his incredible 7.03 3 Cone Time ~ is absolutely sensational, and his Functional Fluidity is rapidly catching up.
Kaufusi's Field Vision isn't impressive, but it isn't a Liability, either, and his Motor is excellent. I believe that he will put in all the Work needed to develop his Game ~ particularly his Combat Skills ~ and to continue to develop his Power.
He'll be 25 when the 2016 Campaign kicks off ~ Mormon Mission ~ and that certainly detracts from his Value, but I believe that with his rare level of Agility at his size, combined with an excellent WingSpan and the Motor to make the most of his tremendous Skills, there is a strong Chance of his developing into a Run Defender who is persistently disrupting the BackField and blowing up Plays, making Plays In Pursuit, and routinely terrorizing the QuarterBack.
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!!