Offensive Center ~ Chad Hamilton ~ Coastal Carolina Chanticleers ~ 6020/294
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: Extraordinary and potentially Phenomenal. Here again I perceive a gap between Latent Agility and Functional Agility, for Hamilton, even allowing for Level of Competition and for viewing through the Prism of converting an Offensive Tackle into a Center, exhibits an extraordinary Fusion of Launch Velocity, Fluidity, and Acceleration...And cranked out such sensational Agility Numbers at his Pro Day as to hint that with Time & Training, he could be even better.
Combat Skills: Exceptional and potentially Extraordinary. Well, Prospecting is all about Potential, oui? And as I see it, Chad Hamilton is oozing with it. Once More and With Feeling: His Combat Tactics, while already remarkable for someone coming from The Big South Conference, could quite conceivably develop into to an extraordinary level, due to his tremendous Persistence, his impressive Mechanics, and above all to that glorious WingSpan of his.
Intangibles: Mediocre. Adequate Motor. Mediocre Field Vision, but I give him that Grade because I see a Competitive level of Field Vision at Coastal Carolina, and I'm adjusting for Level of Competition and a sharper Learning Curve.
Run Blocking: Competitive and potentially Tremendous. What with extrapolating a big Jump in Competition and a dramatic Change of Position, there is more even than my usual level of Speculation in evaluating this Aspect ~ and all Aspects ~ of this Report. But what I believe we have right now is a Run Blocker who ~ at Center ~ would almost certainly be shaky in many regards but who, with Time & Training, could very conceivably become an outstanding Zone Blocker.
Pass Blocking: Here, too: Competitive and potentially tremendous, for all the same reasons and in any Scheme.
And if the Gods are kind, I'll actually be able to tackle them before the Draft, next Year.
I'm an huge fan of Chad Hamilton. I do not know about his Power, mind you: I am undertaking the extraordinarily abstruse and esoteric Process of extrapolating a wafer-thin diet of an Offensive Tackle's Tape ~ thank for you even that much, ESPN3!! ~ playing against Big South Conference Foes into that of an NFL Caliber Center...so Caveat Emptor!!
I grade his Power as Sufficient at this Point, but that, you understand, is only my best Educated Guess.
I'm not complaining, mind you!! Such Evaluations are in fact my favorite kind!! I'm simply warning you that such Evaluations, while generally silly things in the first place, are especially Wrought With Danger under such ethereal Circumstances.
Having said that: I believe Chad Hamilton is an Hidden Gem with extraordinary Possibilities.
To find such extraordinary Agility married to sufficient and potentially superior Power is very intriguing.
But to find that combination of Attributes combined with that magnificent WingSpan is amazing.
Make no mistake: Compounding an huge Jump in Competition with so radical a Conversion Project ~ Offensive Tackle all the way to Center!! ~ introduces enormous swaths of Risk to the Evaluational Equation.
But if Chad Hamilton and his Coaches are able to successfully develop this incredibly rare combination of Attributes, there is genuine Potential for Chad Hamilton to eventually become not merely successful but extraordinary.
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!!