Offensive Guard ~ Jake Brendel ~ Los Angeles Bruins ~ 6040/304
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 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 Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, 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.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Endurance.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Awful. Mediocre Launch Velocity and Acceleration and horrible Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Marginal. And a deficient WingSpan.
Intangibles: Exceptional. Tremendous Field Vision. Adequate Motor.
Run Blocking: Awful.
Pass Blocking: Awful.
Much as I'd love to believe that everything becomes evident with a few glances in the general direction of The Tape, I learned in 2011 that that is simply not the case: Chandler Jones ~ the Dragon, not the SlotBack ~ printed some horrendous Tape, and I judged his Skill Set accordingly. Turns out: he was playing at about 50%.
It was amusing, though, to watch Mike Mayock blather on with the very same excremental Tape in the BackGround, declaring how powerful and agile that same Tape revealed Chandler Jones to be!!
I strongly suspect that Jake Brendel was laboring under similar Duress in the only Game I had a Chance to watch him Play last Year ~ against Southern California. Based on that Tape, alone, I wouldn't pick'm in Flag FootBall.
But his Combine Numbers tell a far different Story.
The Middle Rounds are where Fliers ought be taken. And while I'll be the first to acknowledge ~ in fact: I've virtually invented the Terminology ~ that Intrinsic Power & Agility doesn't necessarily translate to Functional Power & Agility, the Chandler Jones Lesson has taught me to read too much into Tape at my Peril. This is a speculative Game.
And Jake Brendel's Combine Numbers were magnificent. If they in any way reflect more accurately Brendel's Agility than his Tape does, then he possesses the latent, intrinsic Potential to develop into an exceptional Zone Blocker.
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!!