Offensive Guard ~ Damien Mama ~ Southern California Trojans ~ 6033/333
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 Offensive Guards:
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: Lateral 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: Impressive, but yeah, no more'n that. His lack of Fluidity severely curtails his Functional Power, however impressive his Intrinsic Power may be, because he can't get centered and Launch.
Agility: Competitive, equally startling, to me, at least. Sluggish Launch Velocity and sluggish Acceleration and Speed, but exceptional Fluidity. There is a genuine Athlete, there within, should he ever master himself.
Frame: Magnificent. He's got the Right Height for maximum Vertical Leverage and a sensational WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Awful in most regards ~ Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, and FootWork. Decent Persistence.
Processing Speed: Impressive.
Motor: Surprisingly competitive. Exceptional Intensity. Marginal Stamina
Run Blocking: On a Power Scheme Team, I'd go with Competitive and potentially dominant. Will he develop the Combat Skills that he has so far failed to develop? Will he embracing Conditioning, hitherto ignored?
Pass Blocking: Competitive yet potentially sensational. His Game is exceptionally raw, but Mama's got the Power, the Fluidity to Mirror, and the magnificent WingSpan to dominate at the next level...if he learns to play FootBall.
Yeah, Damien Mama is pretty much the TextBook Version of that.
The Man's got Conditioning Problems ~ he's reportedly topped 400 Pounds ~ and could very, very easily eat'is way out'f the League before seeing Snap One...And his awful Combat Skills ~ Combat Skills generally being the Product of Years of Dedication...or the lack thereof!! ~ don't exactly inspire Confidence in his Intelligence or Drive.
But People evolve in diverging ways, at divergent Times, and at divergent Speeds. Hell, I'm still working on what I'm gonna be when I grow up, so I'm not about to cast the likes of Damien Mama to the Wolves just because he's still struggling to find his Path...But neither as a Speculator and Prognosticator am I gonna advise to bet heavily on the Lad!!
High Risk. He could Wash Out without ever having played a Snap
High Reward. He has the Raw Talent to develop into a perennial All Star...if the Light clicks on.
My Angle? I like his Processing Speed. And I like his Intensity. Those speak to Intelligence and Drive, Risk though there be.
I'd roll the Dice.
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!!