Gryphon ~ Eric Striker ~ Oklahoma Sooners
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:
Gryphons ~ The Gryphon of ancient Egyptian Lore is an Hybrid of a Lion and an Eagle, and thus I believe an utterly perfect term for an emerging Role ~ and the attendant Skill Set ~ that I believe is going to become of enormous Importance in the Decades to come: The Hybrid MidFielder/RoverBack ~ that's "LineBacker/Strong Safety" to you Earthlings. The Base Formation is rapidly approaching Extinction: The Sub Package Is The New Base, Ladies & Laddies!! The next Development in the Eternal War between Offense and Defense may very well be an 11th Player ~ that same MidFielder/RoverBack Hybrid ~ playing Full Time!! The Prototype would be about 6000/225, I'd say.
The Gryphon would optimally be able to play RoverBack in "Base" Formations, and drop down to MidFielder for Big Nickel.
Gryphons could thus quite conceivably emerge as the Field Generals of the Defense in the Years to come.
When evaluating Gryphons, this is how I break things down:
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, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
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
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Processing Speed: Impressive. Exceptional Field Vision against The Run. Adequate against The Pass.
Run Defense: Run Defense was not Striker's Forte at Oklahoma, and will indeed be a Liability if his future NFL Team is so foolish as to deploy'm as a traditional MidFielder...But as a Gryphon, not at the 2nd Level of Defense but at the emerging 3rd level before the Secondary, he is remarkably stout ~ having, after all, gotten baptized in The Trenches and having exhibited impressive Core Power and Combat Skills ~ and exhibits impressive Range, as well.
Pass Coverage: Competitive. Excellent Potential. Decent Field Vision which should improve with Time & Training more focused on this Aspect of FootBall hitherto consigned to the BackBurner. Exceptional Fluidity and Field Vision.
Blitz Bonus: Striker of course first brought the Scouting World's attention to'mself precisely because of his Pass Rushing Prowess. But with the necessary Conversion to Gryphon, he'll usually be deployed farther back, which will of course exacerbate his Acceleration Liability: He has very little Closing Speed, and Gryphons with very little Closing Speed infrequently visit the QuarterBack's Area Code, much less Sack'm. And yet, having said that...Striker consistently manifested extraordinary Instincts and Timing, and I would actually be surprised if he didn't make an Impact.
But I derive a perverse Pleasure in turning those Numbers on their head, from time to time.
Eric Striker offers one such Opportunity. Just one short Year ago, Striker was an highly sought after Prospect ~ a potential 1st Rounder. Yet this very April, in the wake of shockingly awful Combine Numbers which confounded the general expectoration that he would profile there as a RoverBack, his Stock plummeted precipitously.
In fact, he went UFA!!
Often, that is utterly warranted: Prospects fly high on Hype, but then when it comes time to take a long, slow, careful, and detailed look, Fundamental Flaws are found, and Stocks tumble dramatically...and appropriately.
There is, as I am so fond of saying, an incredibly thin line between a Top 10 Talent and a UFA.
It takes careful, thorough Analysis to discern the Difference...and even then, it's only an Educated Guess that we're making.
The Opportunity here, I believe, is in the persistent inability of Earthlings to adapt to and to embrace Change. The Strategic LandScape of FootBall is constantly changing, and the necessity of an Hybrid MidFielder/Rover ~ of a Gryphon ~ has become manifestly obvious, yet most Earthlings persist in ignoring this blatantly obvious Fact.
Consequently, invaluable Hybrids like Eric Striker are criminally undervalued and unappreciated.
That's not my Concern, of course: My Concern is evaluating his genuine Value, and his genuine Value is exceptional.
Striker's got the Potential to become an exceptional Run Defender, because despite a lack of Acceleration, his Processing Speed, Launch Velocity, and Fluidity more than make up for that, and he'd got equally exceptional Potential in Pass Coverage, and for a Gryphon, let's just say that he's a remarkably accomplished Pass Rusher.
Add to that his exceptional Processing Speed and his outstanding Motor ~ Motor = Driver ~ and my Trajectory Formula ~ Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk ~ tells me that this guy is a very strong Bet with excellent Upside!!
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!!