QuarterBack ~ Christopher Bonner ~ Pueblo ThunderWolves ~ 6063/231
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ the men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannon, it says here, the more likely that they're going to rely on that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card as often as they can, and fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Awful. Yeah, his Mechanics need a lot of Work, as do his Timing, Touch, and Trajectory.
Pocket Presence: Tremendous. Bonner is at his best, Under Fire. He'll make Mistakes, and sometimes he does rush his Decisions, but by and large his Steadfastness Under Pressure ~ his sustained Focus DownField ~ is amazing.
FirePower: Excellent. Tremendous Velocity and impressive DownField Precision.
This is why I'm tempted to by a WinneBago and just cruise the Country, trolling Division II & III Schools for hidden Gems.
God only knows how many Diamonds In The Rough are out there, their Prospects crippled by Small Minds in Big Places.
I do get overzealous about the Potential of these guys, mind you, and I believe that I have previously allocated perhaps insufficient Allowance for the Level of Competition and for Learning Curves they've faced.
But I maintain that for every Prospect that I've overrated, there's been 1 ~ or 10!! ~ who I nailed it on, who hasn't gotten a genuine Chance. One of my very first SuperBinkies, Joique Bell, labored for 6 Teams over the course of 2 Years after inexplicably going UFA in 2010, before somebody realized that maybe they should give this kid the Ball.
But I digress...
Christopher Bonner needs a lot of Work on his Mechanics, and he'll need to continue busting'is @$$ to master the Game, while acclimating to a much higher level of Competition than he's been playing against...But the kid is a Born Field General, with great Height, a great Arm, a great Mind, a great Motor, and Balls of Steel.
The results were mixed, but the kid oozes Confidence ~ Confidence born of Intelligence, Talent, and Hard Work.
Watching him on Tape, you just feel as if, sooner or later, he's gonna figure out a way to win.
He's got Presence.
I presume nothing of the Future, but this is a guy I want to bet on. And, no: With the League annually facing an imbalance of Supply & Demand so egregious that it routinely drives them to vastly overrate guys like Geno Smith ~ who's impending Bust I predicted in a loud, steady voice, that Year ~ I have no earthly idea why Bonner is still Under The Radar.
I'll ease off on the throttle a bit and make Allowances for the Uncertainty & Risk attendant to his Level of Competition and to his awful Precision, though...Now watch him skyrocket into the 1st Round like Blake Bortles did!! Hah!!
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!!