Offensive Guard ~ Jamon Brown ~ LouisVille Cardinals ~ 6036/324
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.
* 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. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* 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: Functionally Competitive but with Tremendous Intrinsic Potential: Mediocre Fluidity but excellent Launch Velocity and exceptional Acceleration. Brown wasn't all that Impressive on Raw Tape...until you start calculating first for the fact that he was miscast as a Tackle, hamstrung by a WingSpan that would be outstanding at Guard but was deficient on the Edge. Brown was constantly being forced to compensate for his Coach's Strategic Error. And when I combine that consideration with the aforementioned consideration that his Functional Agility couldn't help but suffer from being constantly moved around at LouisVille, I find myself regarding his tremendous Pro Day Agility Number with far less Skepticism.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. I do wonder how much that was a function of being miscast as an Offensive Tackle, though. One cannot help but lunge all day long when one is being egregiously misdeployed as Brown was at LouisVille.
Intangibles: Mediocre. Mediocre Field Vision and Mediocre Motor. Once Again, And With Feeling: How much that that was a result of constantly being asked to redeploy for his entire Stay at LouisVille is a very fair question to ask.
Run Blocking: This and all with Jamon Brown will be a Projection, of course, as I believe he is clearly and obviously best suited to convert to Offensive Guard, but his Potential there as a Run Blocker, with his excellent Launch Velocity, his exceptional Acceleration, and his outstanding WingSpan, is tremendous, and in any Scheme.
Pass Blocking: Mediocre though potentially Impressive. I don't foresee as high a Potential in this Aspect of his Game, as Brown's Combat Skills and Field Vision need a lot of Work and both they and his Power and Fluidity are huge Question Marks. Even so, if his Pro Day Power & Agility Numbers prove to be better indications of his true Potential than was manifested on Tape, he could become very Impressive and even Exceptional with Time & Training.
Jamon Brown's Circumstances are such that I am more inclined than usual to take a long look at what his raw Power and Agility Numbers say about his Prospects. Brown was a Two Way Player in High School who was recruited by LouisVille to play Defensive Tackle, but then was suddenly and violently thrown into the Fire as a Freshman when Injuries compelled the Team to ask'm to try his hand ~ after only an handful of Practices, mind you ~ at Offensive Guard, after which he transitioned to Starting Right Tackle as a Sophomore and then Starting Left Tackle as a Junior.
These multiple Changes and his Ability to play at a competent level despite them are Testimony to his Intelligence and his Work Ethic, but can only prove, ironically, detrimental to the Field Vision and Processing Speed that he displays On Tape when constantly acclimating to a new Role ~ as opposed to being allowed a few Years to master one.
This in turn inhibits not only the development of the Processing Speed itself, but also that which is referred to as Muscle Memory, which in turns inhibits, so I believe, the development of Functional Power and Functional Agility.
Potentially Doubling Down on the Irony, or so I hypothesize, is that if the Prospect in question, who must already possess formidable Learning Capacity in the first place to undergo so many Changes and yet operate at a competitive level even while, as again I hypothesize, appearing far less mentally alert than he is simply because of the constant Changes themselves...might very well emerge far sharper even then before, sharpened, as it were, by the ordeal!!
That is: If his Brains aren't scrambled!!
There was a spectacular Divergence between where the Market indicated Brown would get drafted and where he ended up going, and I find that fascinating because when I strongly suspect far more Potential than meets the eye when one Rolls The Tape, as in Jamon Brown's case, I usually attribute far more Value to the Prospect than the Market does.
And by that I mean both before the Draft and during the Draft, itself.
In the case of the PreDraft Market Value ~ which is what all my Reports reflect, even those such as this one that are written after the Draft, that was certainly the case, as the Market gave'm a UFA Grade while I give'm a 2nd/3rd Round Rank.
But in the case of the actual Draft, where he actually went in the 3rd Round!!
Jamon Brown has a lot of Work to do and will need considerable Training to convert to Offensive Guard, as the Rams are wisely purported to intend to do...But I suspect that Brown, having survived and even thrived multitudinous Positional Changes over the last several Years, will need far less Time to master the new Position than most.
He brings excellent and potentially extraordinary Launch Velocity and exceptional Acceleration, accompanied by that terrific WingSpan, to the Field of Battle, and the Potential, I believe, to greatly improve his Functional Power and Fluidity.
Given the Opportunity, at long last, to finally settle in and focus on one Position, I believe that there is a very strong Chance that Brown will master his new Job with stunning Speed, and that his Functional Power, his Functional Fluidity, his Processing Speed and Field Vision, and even his Combat Skills will improve considerably.
And if so, his tremendous combination of Launch Velocity and WingSpan translate to Pro Bowl Potential.
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!!