CenterFielder ~ Darian Thompson ~ Boise State
Broncos ~ 6016/208
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
CenterFielders ~ This is my term for "Free Safeties", as I find the application of the term "Safety" ~ a limp, lame term, to put it kindly ~ to be an Asinine Appellation for a Gladiator. The Prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
CenterFielders are indeed the Last Line of Defense. But I sense that with the increasing Hybridization of Skill Sets in the Years to come, it will be advantageous for Teams to seek CenterFielders who can not only act as a Reserve Defender in Support of their CornerBacks, but who can ~ at a moment's notice, if need be ~ flip into Direct Coverage.
As such, I have discovered a natural Synergy between the Skill Sets of CenterFielders...and NickleBacks.
CenterFielders, like RoverBacks and Gryphons, are Hybrids, tasked both with Pass Coverage and Run Defense. Unlike Rovers and Gryphons, however, CenterFielders are expected to prioritize Pass Defense. As such, I'll be breaking my Evaluations down along the same lines as with the others, but with a decidedly divergent Emphasis:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Tremendous, both in Run Defense and in Pass Coverage.
Run Defense: Effective. Terrific Field Vision. Exceptional Fluidity. Mediocre Speed and Mediocre Combat Skills, as his WingSpan is very short. Competitive at navigating Traffic. Adequate Range. Good Tackler.
Pass Coverage: Effective. In Man Coverage, he can compete with most Wide Outs, because his Fluidity and outstanding Field Vision enable him to, though his lack of Speed will cost'm against the faster ones. In Deep Coverage or Zone, his Range is capped by that mediocre Speed, but again his remarkable capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Roiling, Boiling Tactical LandScape enables'm to cover far more Green than his Speed would seem to. And I'd be remiss if I neglected to point out his extraordinary Catch Point Capacity, where his extraordinary Processing Speed enables Persistent Presence, Perfectly Planned, at the Catch Point, and where his Height is an enormous Asset!!
Were I evaluating Thompson based only on physical Talent, I'd give'm a 6th/7th Round Grade.
But his outstanding Field Vision ~ his consistently reliable capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the Tactical LandScape as it changes ~ enables him to make an Impact on far more Plays than his physical Skills could, alone.
And such a remarkable level of Processing Speed can only be acquired through Years of persistent Hard Work.
Trajectory: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk. And while Thompson's Ceiling is capped by his mediocre Talent, his Floor is jacked almost through the Ceiling by what are clearly outstanding levels of Intelligence and Drive.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the invaluable Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!