Dragon ~ Frank Clark ~ Michigan Wolverines 6030/270
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 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.
* 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: Moderate but potentially Exceptional. Clark manifests moderate Functional Agility ~ impressive Launch Velocity and Acceleration but mediocre Fluidity ~ but his Agility Numbers at The Combine strongly suggest that there is considerable Untapped Potential, there. He Beefed up rapidly from 210 to 270 at Michigan, and may still be getting used to the enormous increase. Time & Training ~ and some Pilates, if he's smart ~ may greatly improve things.
Combat Skills: Extraordinary. Phenomenal Paw Power, tremendous Persistence, and an outstanding Arsenal, though further Development wouldn't hurt. And he is blessed with an extraordinary WingSpan.
Intangibles: Excellent. Yep. Impressive Field Vision and an outstanding Motor.
Run Defense: Outstanding and potentially Dominant. Phenomenally Stout at The Point of Attack, though only Competitive In Pursuit. Impressively Disruptive in the BackField, though, either as a 43 End or 34 MidFielder.
Pass Coverage: Competitive. Impressive Field Vision but mediocre Fluidity.
Pass Rush: Excellent and potentially Tremendous. His mediocre Fluidity is the only thing holding'm back from potentially becoming flat out Unstoppable, because Clark's Fusion of Power, Combat Skills, and Relentlessness is phenomenal. Clark's remarkable Repertoire of Moves and his ferocious Motor keep Opponents from getting comfortable, and the Torsion he exhibits when he Cuts the Arc and drives into them is awesome. If he gets into a Pilates Regimen and unleashes that sleeping intrinsic Fluidity, he could transform into a flat out Pass Rushing NightMare.
I've observed that an Overwhelming Majority of Earthlings are Addicted to Certainty. I understand the Allure and in fact share the Affliction, but am consumed by the even greater Enticement of Integrity: If you don't know, you simply don't know.
A man who routinely hits women is simply not a man, but a man who did so on one occasion might just be a kid who didn't understand his own Darkness and made a disgusting Mistake. And Frank Clark claimed that he was in fact defending himself. I'm not presuming to say that he was or that he wasn't. I'm just admitting that I don't know.
This is his first such Incident, and any honest man will concede that the Law tends to err dramatically on the side of Ladies in such matters. To categorize Frank Clark as an Abuser despite having no established Pattern of Violent Behavior is stupid, gutless, and weak. I repeat: There is no established Pattern of Violent Behavior on his part.
And his dumb-ass clipping of a LapTop 2 Years earlier doesn't establish that, either.
All we have are divergent and prejudicial Perspectives on what really happened that night. And to all those cowardly, craven LimpDicks who think that any Ladies are gonna let you feed them Dinner because you gutlessly threw this kid under the bus and railed against the allegedly hypocritical NFL for even talking to'm, let me tell you: Most real men will not simply smile and ask "Whatever is wrong, Dear?" when some lunatic woman hurls a Remote Control at them.
I do not presume to know what happened with Frank Clark and his Lady.
I'm just saying: Neither should anyone else.
Once More And With Feeling: There is no established Pattern of Violent Behavior on Frank Clark's part.
Except on the FootBall Field.
Frank Clark is smart enough that he could quite conceivably play effectively as a 34 MidFielder, because they don't drop into Coverage all that often, anyway, the Sams and Wills, but I believe that his optimal Deployment would be as a 43 End.
However, if his Team goes Hybrid ~ as most of the smart ones do ~ I believe that Clark projects as a potentially dominant 43 Defensive End who could flip to 34 MidFielder at the drop of an hat and compete effectively ~ or even excel, if his Coaches manage to find a way to unlock that intrinsic Fluidity ~ or reduce Inside on Passing Downs.
And his Potential, I believe, is immense.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!