Offensive Tackle ~ Cameron Robinson ~ Alabama Crimson Tide ~ 6063/322
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 Offensive Tackles:
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 lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Horizontal Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Tremendous. Terrific Torso Power and outstanding Core Power.
Update: Exceptional. Yeah, On Further Review, I Walked That Back a few Clicks.
Agility: Mediocre. Decent Launch Velocity out'f'is Stance and sufficient Acceleration to the Flanks or DownField in the Running Game, but mediocre Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to redirect in the Open Field.
Update: Marginal. Yeah, his Fluidity sucks. This is why I prefer to thinks things over at length: My Processing Speed sucks.
Frame: Excellent. On the high side for optimal Vertical Leverage, but a wide, thick Frame and an excellent WingSpan.
Update: On Further Review ~ and Combine Numbers!! ~ Mediocre. Very Tall ~ a Liability ~ and an average WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Impressive. Robinson exhibits an inconsistent and thus mediocre Command of Lateral Leverage, I think, but impressive Paw Positioning, adequate FootWork, and exceptional Paw Persistence.
Update: Mediocre. Inconsistent in all Aspects.
Processing Speed: Adept. Robinson's Speed & Efficacy both in Reading & Reacting to Stunts, Twists, and Blitzes in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game was usually good.
Update: No Change.
Motor: Impressive. Steady Intensity and solid Endurance.
Update: Mediocre. Very inconsistent. Frankly, I'm just getting more aware about what I'm seeing.
Run Blocking: Tremendous and potentially Dominant, Robinson clearly matches up best with a Power Scheme Team, as his Point of Attack Potential is vastly superior to his Potential to Wreak Havoc Behind Enemy Lines.
Update: Exceptional, but only on a Power Scheme Team.
Pass Blocking: Competitive and potentially Effective. Robinson's mediocre Fluidity could cause'm a lot of Problems at the next level, but if my eyes are right about his WingSpan, that could go a long ways towards compensating.
Update: Marginal. His Fluidity sucks, and his WingSpan isn't as formidable as I fist thought.
Cameron Robinson, as I've read elsewhere, certainly projects best as a Right Tackle at the next level ~ he plays Left Tackle at Alabama ~ where he won't usually face the most dangerous Pass Rushers, and where he will be asked to do a lot of Run Blocking, which would reduce exposing his greatest Liability while featuring his greatest Strength.
I'm reminded of an earlier Alabama Left Tackle, Danny Fluker, who I also thought projected far better not as a Tackle, in contrast to the overwhelming majority of Sites and of the League itself, but as an Offensive Guard, and a potentially exceptional one, but not worth the 1st Rounder he commanded, and who I thus graded as OverRated.
The Lightning Bolts moved'm to Right Guard 2 Years ago. Wise move.
Robinson, however, I believe has the Potential to play Tackle at the next level, so long's it's Right Tackle. There is absolutely the Potential for'm to flame out and necessitate a switch to Guard, a la Danny Fluker, because his Fluidity to Mirror is shaky, and while the Left Tackle gets the Lion's Share of Speed & Agility Rushers, it's not as if Defensive Coordinators aren't always moving Defenders around to exploit Weaknesses. Robinson's a potential Liability.
But that broad, powerful Frame and that WingSpan go a long way towards neutralizing that Liabilitiy, and his Combat Skills and Processing Speed should also help'm in that regard...and of course he's outstanding aganst Power.
It's the Running Game, of course, where Robinson boasts dominant Potential, though far more in pulverizing Defenders at The Point of Attack than in flying DownField and causing Disruption Behind Enemy Lines.
He's an excellent Prospect, but not without Risk, and I believe a bit overrated, perhaps because of his Alabama Pedigree.
Update: No, I don't get a good Feeling about Cameron Robinson's Prospects.
My Belly told me Short Greg Robinson of the Auburn Tigers 3 Years ago, and I stupidly persuaded myself that I was seeing what I wasn't seeing. And I have to live with that. Cameron Robinson may well prove me wrong in the opposite direction, but if that's the way it goes, then that's the way it goes. Regardless of the outcome, I'll sleep far better, because I believe that I'm being far more honest with myself ~ and with my honored FootBall Fiend Brethren ~ this time around.
My Belly is telling me that Cameron Robinson, very much like Greg Robinson, before ~ No Relation, so far's I know ~ fairly oozes Bust Potential. He's got plenty of Power, but very shaky Agility, a dubious Motor, and every hair on my Body is informing me that he's got OffField Problems just poised to derail'm, as soon as he gets his first Contract.
His Talent is Top 10. But his Trajectory???
Sell, Brothers and Sisters.
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!!