Offensive Center ~ Connor Williams ~ Texas LongHorns ~ 6050/297
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: 60, and I'll break that down as effectively 50 and potentially 80. I'll also note that this number is highly speculative, as Williams played Tackle, whereas I'm projecting him as a Center. And I'll further note that I'd grade his Power as 40 at Offensive Guard. He displayed extraordinary intrinsic Core Power at The Combine, but it's undeveloped.
Agility: 90. My judgement is to base everything on Williams' 2016 Tape, while acknowledging that doing so carries risk. More on that, later. On 2016 Tape, his Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and Fluidity, are all outstanding.
Frame: 40. 6050 is a Liability for optimal Vertical Leverage, but not a crippling one. His WingSpan is sufficient for Center.
Combat Skills: 100. Phenomenal in all aspects.
Processing Speed: 80 and probably 100, once he learns the gig, in the admittedly unlikely event that his prospective team is smart enough to convert him to Center. An extraordinary capacity to consistently read and react quickly and effectively.
Motor: 100. Awesome combination of Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: 60 on a Power Scheme Team. 75 on a Zone Scheme Team.
Pass Blocking: 90. A tremendous combination of Field Vision, Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Tenacity. He can be beaten by Power, but has the tools and the will to save most Battles that he would've otherwise lost.
I'm probably driving everyone crazy with this pandemic of Tackle > Center Convertibles, especially considering the continuing devolution of Centers, in this Era of Smaller Defensive Fronts, into the Appendix of Trench Gorillas!!
But I gotta call'm as I see'm, and Connor Williams is possessed of a WingSpan this is way too short to man the Flank in Pass Protection, and at 297 is far too lean for Guard to be, in my opinion, the best way to deploy'm.
That leaves Center...And Connor Williams, with his extraordinary combination of Intelligence and Agility, added to which his Power is potentially a strength at that position, if he develops what The Combine revealed, is a natural.
There is a lot of risk with this bet, both real and theoretical: If he's drafted to play Offensive Guard, Failure becomes a genuine possibility, even with his Intelligence and Drive, because he might lack the Power to win at Guard...And if his team is theoretically smart enough to draft'm as a Center, there's the possibility that his 2016 Tape is no longer applicable.
I like his chances, though, all things considered: If he's drafted as a Center, he'll bring he potential to make an enormous impact both in the Running Game ~ if on a Zone Scheme Team ~ and as a Pass Blocker. He's a ferocious Leader, with multiple Pro Bowl potential, and his Intelligence and Drive are through the roof. This is a guy to bet on.
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!!