Yeti ~ Carl Davis ~ Iowa HawkEyes ~ 6045/320
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:
Yetis ~ I wanted to go with "Gorillas", but there's too much lingering Stigma with that. Yetis have the Size of Nose Tackles but the WingSpan of Defensive Ends. As such, they are genuine Hybrids, and can conceivably line up anywhere from Tackle to Tackle, across from the Offensive Line. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6050/325 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Yetis may often or even routinely do 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 Yetis, 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.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Impressive. Tremendous Launch Velocity and impressive Fluidity, though mediocre Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Superb and with Exceptional, perhaps even outstanding Potential. Terrific Paw Frequency. Competitive Mechanics that improved considerably last Year. Impressive Paw Power. Phenomenal WingSpan.
Intangibles: Competitive. Allegedly mediocre Motor, though I didn't see it. Impressive Field Vision.
Run Defense: Exceptional. Tremendous Anchoring Strength and impressive Fluidity, though mediocre Acceleration, and with that combination of Attributes, I believe that Davis would be far more effective in the interior than on the End of the Defensive Line. However, I don't perceive a Nose Tackle's Height, so I believe 3 Tech would be optimal.
Pass Rush: Effective, but with tremendous Potential. Davis didn't rack much up at Iowa, playing at a constantly detrimental spot at Nose Tackle, but with that Launch Velocity, that Drive Power, and that phenomenal WingSpan, Davis has the Potential to dramatically improve upon his College Production, at either 43 Tackle or 34 End.
And several Reports make note that he plays Too High Too Often, to employ one'f my terms.
And having watched the Tape myself, I would certainly concur that he often lost the Leverage Battle.
But my conclusions are vastly different than those of my far Wiser Draft Brethren.
Carl Davis is a Lion being graded as a Grizzly.
Davis stands 6045 Tall, yet the HawkEyes routinely deployed him at Nose Tackle ~ 1 Tech, to be exact, shading the Nose. Thus deployed, Davis regularly went Head to Head with Centers, who generally run around 6000/6010 or so.
This is one of those times, I believe, when the Combine, Pro Days, or, in this case, Senior Bowl Practices, not only suggest that the Tape might need a longer, more careful look, but just might blow the Tape out'f the water.
Carl Davis, by all accounts, manifested far more Power, Agility, Endurance, and Consistency at the Senior Bowl Practices than had been clear on his Tape. Mind you: The Gutters are littered with the corpses of Senior Bowl Stars who proved nothing more than Flashes in the Pan, but I'm here to tell you that my very strong impression is that Carl Davis was finally playing on a level playing field, and The Truth finally came out: Match him up not against Centers and constant Double Teams, where his Leverage Liability is compounded, but match him up instead against Guards and Tackles, who have comparable height and can't simple drive up from under'm...and Davis is a Beast, Unleashed!!
I think not.
That has been the prevalent Theme, this Draft Season, when Davis's name comes up, but I believe that he was simply put at a great Disadvantage by Iowa's Schematic's Tactics, which made it seem as if he had no Core Power, because he always appeared to be playing high ~ as can happen when your Foe is usually 4-5 inches shorter!! ~ and as if his Motivation was lacking, because he was getting pushed around by shorter guys because they were shorter!!
I'm extrapolating dramatically, here, I admit it, but it's what my Gut is telling me.
Davis started off slowly at Iowa, but when he finally won a starting Gig in his 4th Year ~ including a RedShirt ~ he improved considerably over the course of the Year, and did so yet again, in 2014. Wherever his mind may've been 5 Years ago, it seems to me that he's manifesting increasingly undeniable signs of a guy a sharp and increasing Ascent.
If he was just putting on a Show at the Senior Bowl, I'll have some Crow to eat. It wouldn't be my first.
But I believe we were just catching our first glimpse of a Towering IceBerg.
As for how to deploy the lad, I think he has tremendous Potential both as a 34 End and as a 43 Tackle.
I believe that 43 Tackle would be his optimal Deployment, because he matches up well with Offensive Guards, and on the Interior Line, he could exert all his tremendous Launch Velocity, his Power, and his impressive Fluidity to great Advantage, not only in the Pass Rush but in Run Defense, whereas his lack of Acceleration translates into a lack of great Range, therefore perhaps to his Disadvantage in Run Defense when he's deployed at Defensive End in a 34.
But he also projects as a potentially dynamic Edge Rusher and stout Edge Setter in the 34.
I like the Trajectory of Carl Davis. He improved considerably in 2013, I read, and again in 2014, I saw. I read about shaky Work Habits, but my very strong impression is that he's outgrown them a long time ago. Indeed, the stories that I hear about diligent Tape Study are far more believable, when I view his considerable Year to Year Improvement.
And the extensive Improvement in both the mechanical Aspects of his Combat Skills and in his Capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Roiling, Boiling Tactical LandScape ere these past 2 Years, as I've read and as I've inferred, speak to a considerable Investment in Tape Study ~ precisely the sort of Indicator that speaks to High Motivation.
I'm just making a Calculated Judgment, of course...But that's all I do!!
Talent + Intelligence + Drive = Positive Trajectory.
I have no Talent For Certainty ~ Jane Austen, baby!! ~ but I'd bet a few Chips on Davis.
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!!