Offensive Guard ~ Isaac Isiata ~ Utah Utes
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 Guards:
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: Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* 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.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Excellent. Better Torso Power than Core Power, but he hasn't neglected his Core. I'd rate them as Tremendous and Exceptional, respectively, and both his Drive Power and Anchoring Strength are excellent.
Agility: Mediocre. Marginal Fluidity, Acceleration, and Speed, but impressive Launch Velocity.
Frame: Awesome. The Right Height for maximum Vertical Leverage and a tremendous WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Awful. I gotta wonder what the Hell he's doing, out there. His Persistence is tremendous, and his FootWork isn't bad, but his Paw Positioning, Lateral Leverage, and Timing are horrific. Time to switch to Faux Joe, Bro.
Processing Speed: Marginal, both in reading and reacting quickly and effectively enough to deal with Stunts, Twists, and Blitzes in Pass Protection and in finding and effectively engaging Targets in the Running Game.
Motor: Exceptional. Phenomenal Intensity. Mediocre Stamina.
Run Blocking: Asiata is obviously a Power Scheme Team Prospect, and in that regard, I'd rate'm as Effective but potentially excellent, if he can develop his sluggish Processing Speed and his horrible Combat Skills.
Pass Blocking: Competitive and potentially Impressive. Asiata's Fluidity to Mirror is marginal, but his Launch Velocity is impressive and his WingSpan is tremendous, so if he can develop his Combat Skills, he could excel.
He's a bit'f a Lunatic, you see.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But from an Investment Point of View, his horrible Combat Skills are a Concern. His Intensity is awesome, but he is Out Of Control. He is the Trench Warrior equivalent of the HalfBack who tries to get 80 Yards on every Play.
Those guys are worse than Useless: They're destructive.
And so will Asiata be, if he doesn't check'mself.
Having said that: His Potential is tremendous, particularly for a Power Scheme Team that loves to run.
And while his Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection is weak, his Launch Velocity and WingSpan more than compensate for that. All Isaac Asiata needs to become great is to get intensive Time & Training in at the professional level.
And for God's Sake, Man...implement what they're telling you!!
* Please Note, though: He'll be 25. That not only materially affects the Value that he potentially brings to his prospective Business Partners ~ who'll only prospectively get 6 Years of Prime Time before he turns 30, as opposed to the usual 8 or 9 ~ but also casts a Pall on'is Tape, as his playing against Men in some cases six Years younger than'm inevitably enhanced the appearance of his Play. As such, I'm dialing down his Grade & Rank accordingly.
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!!