RoverBack ~ Derwin James ~ Florida State Seminoles ~ 6015/216
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
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:
Rovers ~ RoverBack is my term for what Earthlings refer to as "Strong Safeties". I don't find the employment of "Safety" as a moniker for a Position to be nearly as demeaning as "LineBacker", mind you, but it's still a pretty lame term for a Gladiator, if you ask me. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6000/210, or thereabouts.
Rovers are of course Hybrids, in that they are tasked equally with Run Defense and Pass Defense.
When evaluating RoverBacks, this is how I break things down:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial.
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.
Tackling: Thunderous Booms are all very well, but I'm more interested in form and efficiency!!
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, Motor, Navigating Traffic, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Field Vision.
CatchPoint Capacity: Tracking, Timing, Combat Skills, and WingSpan.
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.
* 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
* Agility ~ Fluidity, Ricochet, Acceleration, and Speed, baby!!
* Processing Speed ~ Reading and Reacting with Speed & Precision to Offensive Tactics.
* Field Vision ~ Processing Speed with an emphasis on the Tactical LandScape.
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Power: 100. Absolutely ripped, and with the Functional Power to prove it.
Agility: 50. Excellent Acceleration, but mediocre Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity.
Processing Speed: 40. Pretty sketchy!! Disciplined and Dedicated, but slow to read and react effectively or consistently.
Tackling: 40. Tremendous Impact, but marginal Form and marginal Efficiency. A big fan of Shoulder Tackles.
Run Defense: 40. Nice Acceleration, but mediocre Fluidity and Processing Speed, and his Tackling is shaky.
Pass Coverage: 40. Terrific Speed, but otherwise mediocre Agility as well as Field Vision. Very shaky.
CatchPoint Capacity: 60. Mediocre Tracking & Timing, but excellent WingSpan, Combat Skills and Vertical Agility.
After my usual preliminary research, I hit The Tape fully expecting to launch my usual lecture about how it takes 18 months, idiots, to fully recover from a major injury such as Derwin James sustained in September of 2016, and therefore you can throw out the 2017 Tape, go by the 2015 Tape and the 1st 2016 Game, and, having done so, dismiss with prejudice the unkind and ignorant reports that I read about his supposedly being slow and sluggish and lacking juice in 2017.
Having watched those 2015 and 2016 Tapes, I can indeed tell you: he was an explosive player.
But only in a straight line.
I don't get it. I am all too aware of how spectacularly I bungled the 2013 Defensive Back Class ~ although I must declare that my CyberScouting, after a few years, is looking far less stupid and far more prescient ~ and am therefore dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to Defensive Backs, and thus cautious about splashing too much red ink around...But I don't get it. All I read about Derwin James is what a superfreak he is...
But all I see on the only Tape that really counts ~ the 2015 and 2016 Tape ~ is a guy who's strong and fast...but stiff as a board, slow to read and react effectively, and given to a disturbingly high volume of Shoulder Tackles.
I read that he's a ferocious Rabble Rouser who is inevitably going to take over the locker room, and that is very well...And I also hear that he is a passionate Student of the Game, who burns the midnight oil in The Tape Room, and I love that, presuming that it's true...But my Spidey Sense is whispering tales of Paper Tigers and Glory Hogs.
I don't presume to know the guy. At all.
But I grade based on Talent x Intelligence x Drive, and I see a guy who's vulnerable to Agility and to Hornswoggling ~ he lost the 2015 Houston Game pretty much by himself ~ and needs to be on a team that's not gonna ask'm to do anything but attack, downfield...and I'm not sure how effective he's gonna be even at that, what with the Shoulder Tackling.
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!!