MidFielder ~ Eric Kendricks ~ Los Angeles Bruins ~ 6003/231
I don't consider Dragons that play what you Earthlings refer to as "OutSide LineBacker" in a 34 Defense to be MidFielders.
Dragons have a particular Skill Set and natural strengths which are divergent to those of MidFielders.
MidFielders, whether in a 434, a 335, a 425, a 245, or whatever you come up with, are natural Super Hybrids who can quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Drop into Coverage, and, above all, Defend against the Run.
When evaluating MidFielders, 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. All the upper body strength in the world still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
Agility: Extraordinary. Impressive Acceleration. Magnificent Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Competitive. Raw Mechanics. Exceptional Paw Activity. Mediocre Frame.
Intangibles: Phenomenal. Tremendous Motor and magnificent Diagnostic Velocity and Field Vision. Very Disciplined, too.
Run Defense: Excellent. This Grade, mind you, is prefaced on the supposition that Kendricks gets deployed either as the Will MidFielder in a 43 or the Mike in a 34, as he lacks the Power to make a dynamic Impact either setting the Edge or taking on Offensive Guards. But his Fluidity and Processing Speed are simply sensational, and combined with that tremendous Motor and impressive Acceleration, they translate into phenomenal Range. Kendricks is far better at navigating Traffic if he's got a little space to work with, and he is an excellent Tackler.
Pass Coverage: Sensational. Simply freaking sensational. Kendricks is blessed with a preposterous wealth of combined Processing Speed and Fluidity, and this is where he shines brightest. That sweet, serpentine Fluidity translates into magnificent Verticity in Man Coverage ~ That's "Turn & Burn" Acuity, Earthlings!! ~ and Zone is just easy for'm.
Pass Rush: Deficient. Yeah, nothing to see, here. Deficient Power, active but raw Combat Skills, and good but not dynamic Closing Speed. And yet I'm going to go on the Record and predict that Kendricks rapidly evolves into a dangerous and shockingly productive X Factor in the Pass Rush. The impression that I get of Kendricks, frankly, is that he reads the BattleField with such extraordinary Speed and exhibits such incredibly instinctive Timing that I believe that he will instinctively know when he can get away with a late Rush, just like my 2012 SuperBinky, LaVonte David!!
His Versatility is the least of his Attributes, in my eyes, but Scheme Versatility, he has. He fits perfectly as either a 43 Will MidFielder or, perhaps optimally, as a 34 Mike MidFielder. And there is no Sub Package that he wouldn't be great in.
As a 43 Will MidFielder, he'd be working the lighter side of the Field, which would free him up to slip through and around Traffic and chase in Run Defense or unleash his magnificent Pass Coverage Skills on the Enemy.
And as a 34 Mike MidFielder, he would be an absolute Natural. I believe that Kendrick's sensational Processing Speed and Field Vision, his tremendous Motor, and his universally acclaimed Love for the Game all simply add up to the fact that he was born to command an Huddle and lead his men in Battle. His Ted MidFielder would of course be tasked to clear Kendricks a path to the FootBall in Run Defense, Good Man, sparing his General such unwarranted Abuse, and Kendricks'll thus usually be free to determine how best to deploy his dynamic skills...and those'f his men.
As for Sub Packages...The more area to roam in, the more effective Eric Kendricks'll be!!
Ladies & Laddies? This kid was forged in a Kiln to play 21st Century FootBall.
Yeah, I'm a Fan.
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!!