LongHorns ~ 6030/294
Do you agree? I hope so, and propose to break them down into 2 simple Categories, so we know what we're taking about:
Grizzlies ~ Enormous and Powerful Defensive Tackles noted for taking up Multiple Blockers and dominating the Middle.
Wolves ~ Smaller and Athletic Defensive Tackles noted for penetrating the BackField and for their Range.
When evaluating all Defensive Tackles, these are the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power. Above all: Core Power. Upper body Strength 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 Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game. And those Players who invest the time and effort to develop superior Core Power are far likelier to enjoy sustained good Health and stay on the Field.
Agility. Lateral 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. Mechanics. Launch Velocity, Paw Power, and Technique.
Intangibles. Diagnostic Capacity, Processing Speed, and Motor. How effectively he masters Spatial Diagnostics & Angles, how rapidly he recognizes and implements Blocking Schemes based on changing Defensive Tactics, and of course: Drive. How badly he wants it. These are of course difficult things to assess, but it's crucial to at least try to.
Agility. Magnificent. Whaley is blessed with simply phenomenal Launch Velocity and sensational Fluidity.
Combat Skills. Raw as Hell, baby. Raw as Hell.
Intangibles. Phenomenal. His Motor is outstanding, and his Field Vision is admittedly undeveloped and inconsistent, after but 3 Years on Defense, but to make a successful Transition for HalfBack to Defensive Tackle takes an incalculable reservoir of Intelligence, Passion, Dedication, and Drive. Just give the kid another couple Years.
In researching Christopher Whaley ~ and God knows there is very little out there!! ~ I've nevertheless already read not one but two references, despite a thin pile of Commentary, comparing him to the extraordinary Henry Melton, for no other reason, evidently, than the fact that, like Whaley, Melton not only went to Texas but performed the rather rare and astonishing Conversion from HalfBack to Defensive Tackle...It's a ludicrous comparison, of course.
Except that it isn't.
Christopher Whaley is as Raw as Beef Tartar and Raw Oysters smothered in Suchi and washed down with a Rocky Power Drink, but if his Coaches can train and develop him successfully, I'm telling you that this kid has the Launch Velocity, the Fluidity, and the Acceleration to rain Terror in Offensive BackFields for the next Decade to come!!
How does he project as a Run Defender? Heh. Damned if I know!!
But I'll say this: Christopher Whaley was a 4 Star Recruit, 5 Years ago, and weighed no more than 215 Pounds. Despite his impressive Pedigree, he simply couldn't crack the LongHorn BackField. But did he let that destroy him? Hell, no.
And by God, he Overcame!!
He tried his hand at FullBack
He tried his hand at Tight End.
It didn't work out.
3 Years after arriving at Texas as a 4 Star HalfBack Recruit, Christopher Whaley finally got to see the Field in Live Battle.
...As a Defensive Tackle.
What we have here, Ladies & Laddies, is a kid possessed of enough Intelligence not only to successfully make the preposterous transformation form HalfBack to Defensive Tackle...but to make an huge Impact.
What we have here, Ladies & Laddies...is a kid with an Ocean of Passion and Drive within'm.
It's all about Trajectory, baby.
Christopher Whaley will almost certainly RedShirt 2014, because he got hit with an ACL Injury late last Season.
He's also got to get used to playing at that Weight.
That doesn't happen overnight.
80 Pounds later, it's almost like getting a Body Implant: It's going to take additional Time for'm to grow into'is own skin.
And he's got an enormous Learning Curve staring'm in the face, considering that he's only played Defense for 3 Years.
But when I multiply that preposterous combination of Launch Velocity, Fluidity, and Acceleration times the immeasurable well of Intelligence, Passion, Dedication, and Drive it must've taken for'm to make that astonishing Transition from HalfBack into the emerging Force that he was becoming at Texas...I can't help but love his Chances.
And if he makes it??
If he, having already overcome all that he's had to overcome to make it this far, makes it over and beyond the admittedly formidable remaining Obstacles of returning to health and mastering what is still a relatively new Position to'm??
I believe this kid has a very legitimate chance to become a Star.
And I'm only backing off my Grade because of the Injury.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value