Offensive Center ~ Corey Levin ~ Chattanooga Moccasins ~ 6036/308
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.
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: Mediocre. Moderate Anchoring Strength. Marginal Drive Power.
Agility: Excellent, all around: Launch Velocity, Fluidity, Acceleration, and Speed.
Frame: Adequate. Decent Height for Optimal Vertical Leverage. Sufficient WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Marginal, but I believe that they translate to Competitive if he moves all the way Inside from Tackle to Center as I believe he should: A natural Center playing Tackle will get into some Bad Habits, and Levin's Paw Speed and Positioning, to be sure, were shaky, but can easily be attributed to a WingSpan that, while adequate for a Center, was horrifically inadequate for Tackle. His Paw Persistence and FootWork were fine. He just needs to switch.
Processing Speed: Exceptional and potentially Outstanding. He played Offensive Tackle at Chattanooga, but Levin's Processing Speed and Field Vision as exhibited strongly suggest a switch all the way inside.
Motor: Excellent Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: Mediocre on a Power Scheme Team, but competitive with tremendous Potential on a Zone Scheme Team, as Levin's terrific Agility and Field Vision could there be deployed to Maximum Advantage!!
Pass Blocking: Mediocre, but potentially Impressive. Mediocre Power and raw Combat Skills, but Levin has the excellent Fluidity to Mirror effectively and the Intelligence and Drive to develop his Combat Skills.
But he's got the right Frame to play Center, and while his Power sucks, his Agility is excellent, and, far more importantly, he
brings outstanding Intelligence and Drive to the Field of Battle, and the added Advantage both of the exceptional Processing Speed that his Intelligence and Drive have earned, but the fundamentally strong Combat Skills that his extensive Time & Training have developed over the Years. It's all about Trajectory, Ladies and Laddies!!
Corey Levin is by no means anything faintly resembling a Sure Thing...But does he have the Agility to develop, despite his lack of Power, into a Starting Center? Yes. And does he possess the Intelligence and Drive to maximize his Chances of succeeding in that Quest? Absolutely. Therefore, I believe his Prospects worth more than The Market does.
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!!