Offensive Center ~ Cole Madison ~ Washington State Cougars ~ 6051/308
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.
Having said that...Centers often find themselves in support rolls in Pass Blocking, rather than helping tear open holes up the middle or out to the flanks in the Run Game, because of the league's general persistence, in the 21st Century, in heavily accentuating the Passing Game. As such, the impact that Centers make on their team's fortunes seems destined to be considerably less than their potential. But my focus is on intrinsic value, even where that potential goes untapped.
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 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: 33. Played Tackle at Washington State, but his WingSpan dictates a move inside, and he's way too power-challeged to play Guard, so Center, it must be...And even there, were Agility trumps Power, he is deficient.
Agility: 80. Slow Speed, but his Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and Fluidity are all excellent.
Frame: 40. Taller than you want at Center with his lanky Frame. Decent WingSpan.
Combat Skills: 75. Exceptional, in all aspects. Smart, tactical, well-positioned, well-timed, and persistent.
Processing Speed: 66. Very impressive. It looks like he has the Brains to convert to Center.
Motor: 66. Persistent Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: 40, maybe 50, on a Zone Scheme Team. With his Power, he'll be fighting for'is life just to survive as a decent "Positional Blocker" ~ the equivalent of a hotel's "cozy" room ~ but his Combat Skills and Intangibles save'm.
Pass Blocking: 50, maybe 60. His Frame is mediocre, but his Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Smarts are a strong combination.
As for Power, he is not burdened with much'f that.
I see'm as a Contender, a prospect who, while taller than you would want'm to be for a Center, is not fatally so burdened, who already exhibits exceptional Combat Skills and the sharp mind for a Center's responsibilities, a strong Motor, and who, therefore, despite severe impediments of Power, might very well compete for a Starter's Snaps.
Whether or not his Team deploys him as a Center is of course none'f my concern.
I will add this, though: Lacking in Length as he is to such a degree that a conversion from Tackle to Guard ~ bad idea, with his Power levels ~ or to Center seems on the face'f it obvious and inevitable, I don't believe that to be the case.
I'll have much more to say on the subject, in a few months, should I manage, this year ~ for the first time, mind you ~ to fulfill my preposterously ambitious writing schedule, this year, but for now I'll just note that in my opinion the "standard" for Offensive Tackles might need an update. And a Cole Madison might very well fit the new bill.
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!