Offensive Tackle ~ Dierrias Humphries ~ Florida Gators ~ 6050/308
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 Offensive Tackles:
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 stiff and lumbering out there.
Combat Skills: Paw Power, Mechanics ~ Hand Speed & Positioning ~ and of course: Frame.
Intangibles: Processing Speed and Motor. Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to how the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape effects Blocking Schemes, and Motor is about Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, 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.
* Paw Power ~ The Power & Speed of the initial Punch.
* Paw Velocity ~ How active the Hands are.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Frame ~ Above all: WingSpan.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Phenomenal. Tremendous Launch Velocity and Acceleration. Magnificent Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. Outstanding Paw Power, but raw, sloppy Mechanics. Impressive Persistence, though.
Intangibles: Competitive. Mediocre Field Vision. Impressive Motor.
Run Blocking: Impressive and potentially tremendous. Humphries seems to me to be a pure Zone Blocker, and within that context he possesses outstanding Potential, despite marginal Core Power, because he is terrific in Space. He needs lots of Work both with his Mechanics and his Field Vision, but if he develops these he could become a great Success.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional and potentially outstanding. Humphries is not only a pure Zone Blocker, but a pure Left Tackle as well. As with his Run Blocking, the difference between where Humphries is now and where he could project to be hinges on'is Core Power and his Mechanics. Right now, Defenders with exceptional Power or Combat Skills and even a shred of Agility will give'm serious Problems. But his Potential, should he develop these, is immense.
I would agree with Consensus Opinion that his UpSide is as high as that of any other Tackle in this Draft Class...But in my perception, the risk attendant is actually higher than of the less athletic and far less seasoned Trevor Clemmings.
I preach Trajectory ~ hence my lofty Grade for Mister Clemmings ~ but my application of Trajectory isn't as simple as the standard English Translation, by which you can pretty much just discern a Path and extend it:
"Trajectory > A mercurial Formula that blends Talent, Speed of Improvement, and the Probability of continuing that Speed of Improvement, based on perceived Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive."
Talent. Humphries certainly brings phenomenal Agility to the Field of Battle, but his deficient Core Power is a big Red Flag. Some guys focus on that and overcome it, but many do not. It is a Risk, and Risk of course attenuates Value.
By Intelligence, I refer here more to Diagnostic Acuity than to Diagnostic Velocity or Processing Speed. And yet Processing Speed is of course heavily influenced by Diagnostic Acuity, so why do I so insufferably focus on the on the former in my Evaluations? Because as someone who possesses oodles of the latter and nary an atom of the former, I've been rendered acutely aware of the colossal difference between the two, and what it can mean on the BattleField.
Drive, too, heavily influences Processing Speed and thus Field Vision, by dint of how much Time a Prospect has invested, over the Years, in dissecting Tape and in drilling the hundreds of Little Things necessary to excel in this Great Game.
I would not presume to know the measurement of Humphries's Intelligence nor his Drive.
But it's my Job ~ as it were ~ to evaluate them as best I can ~ to infer them.
Not every Path to Success is the same. And being relentlessly romanced by an entire Nation of Colleges, as Humphries was, 3 Years ago, is a monumentally difficult process for a young man to undertake or to digest.
What I'm getting at is this: Dierrias Humphries was then and is now an immensely talented young man, and he certainly hasn't fallen on his face at Florida. But 3 Years later, his Mechanics and Processing Speed, to say nothing of his Core Power, are still raw and undeveloped, despite spending those 3 Years at a major Program. That concerns me.
I'm not attacking either this young man's Intelligence nor his Work Ethic. But I am saying that I see precious little Evidence of either, and I therefore cannot affix the lofty Value to'is Stock that his extraordinary Agility might otherwise command.
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!!