Dragon End ~ Dorance Armstrong ~ Kansas JayHawks ~ 6036/256
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:
Dragons ~ This is my terminology for Players who may've played either Defensive End or what you Earthlings call "OutSide LineBacker" in College, and who in any case possess the Size to player either at the next level. They would generally be deployed as Ends in a 43 or as "OutSide LineBackers" in a 34, and have even been known to get deployed as Interior Rushers in the Nascar Package. The Prototype would generally be somewhere around 6050/265 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Dragons may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
Dragons in a 43 are Defensive Linemen, but Dragons in a 34, for instance, are off the Line and may be asked to drop into Pass Coverage from time to time, so that capacity ~ observed or inferred is going to be part of my Evaluations.
When evaluating Dragons, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
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. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Rush: Ditto.
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 against the Run.
* Drive Power, Rushing the Passer.
* 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.
* Pass Rush Repertoire: Variety.
* Reading & Reacting to Offensive Blocking Schemes with Speed & Precision.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
Power: 75. Not huge, but tremendous Core Power. He can anchor and he can drive.
Agility: 90. Horrible 40 Time at the Combine and again at'is Pro Day, and'f course I don't give a rat's ass. His Launch Velocity and Acceleration are outstanding, and his Fluidity and Ricochet are tremendous.
Frame: 100. Compact Height, yet with an awesome WingSpan.
Combat Skills: 33. Excellent Paw Persistence, but pretty raw in all other regards, including Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: 75. Really, really quick to diagnose and react.
Motor: 90. Outstanding Intensity and phenomenal Stamina.
Run Defense: 60. The potential is there to become extraordinary, both at the Point of Attack and in Pursuit: the underrated Power to Anchor at the Point, and the mental and athletic Speed, and the Motor, to make plenty of Plays in Pursuit. Developing his Combat Skills is all that remains for'm to transform Good into Greatness.
Pass Rush: 60. This, too, is true of his Pass Rush, as ArmStrong's combination of Launch Velocity, Power, Fluidity, that extraordinary WingSpan, and outstanding Closing Speed translate to Pro Bowl Potential.
Ceiling? Beast!! 1st Rounder. His horrible 40 Time and equally horrible Bench Reps and Vertical Leap not withstanding, it says here that Armstrong's got highly underrated Power ~ underrated because he met up with a lot of double teams in Kansas's depleted Defense. I do believe that he matches up better as a 34 MidFielder than as a 43 End, mind you, but that's just because his Fluidity and Speed are extraordinary. And he's also got a compact, and lengthy Frame. If he translates his talent to the filed, he could be a Star both as a Run Defender and as a Pass Rusher.
Floor? Contender. 4th/5th Round. He's a ways to go to get there, as his Combat Skills need plenty of development.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Excellent. Armstrong plays with an awesome level of Intensity, does so with tremendous consistency, and his Processing Speed is clearly evident with his consistently rapid read & react time. He is manifestly loaded with Intelligence and Drive ~ his rather raw Combat Skills notwithstanding ~ and in my book it's actually in his favor that he reliably and consistently disciplined himself to play Contain in Kansas's 2017 Defense. That, I've read, and I agree, is entirely to blame ~ outside of the double teams!! ~ for his statistical collapse, last year, his Stock following.
Such discipline and dedication, despite the cost, is admirable and indeed highly desirable in a Prospect. Combined with top shelf talent and tons of Intelligence and Drive, Armstrong seems, to me, to be a very strong bet to learn and indeed master the Combat Skills that are all that're currently holding him back from becoming All That He Can Be.
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!!