MidFielder ~ Jarrad Davis ~ Florida Gators
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
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:
MidFielders ~ This is in fact my collective term for all of what you Earthlings refer to as "LineBackers", a term that I consider moderately insulting to the Players in question. The reason I'm employing a collective term ~ at least for now ~ is that I believe that the Skill Sets for any of the 3 or 4 Jobs indicated therein are remarkably similar, though their Duties are certainly considerably divergent. The Prototype for any MidFielder would be about 6000/240 or thereabouts.
I don't consider Dragons that play what you Earthlings refer to as "OutSide LineBacker" in a 34 Defense to be MidFielders.
Dragons have a particular Skill Set and natural strengths which are divergent to those of MidFielders.
MidFielders, whether in a 434, a 335, a 425, a 245, or whatever you come up with, are natural Super Hybrids who can quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Drop into Coverage, and, above all, Defend against the Run.
When evaluating MidFielders, this is how I break things down:
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: Horizontal Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Coverage: Ditto.
Pass Rush: Double Dirty Dog Ditto.
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, Rushing the Passer.
* 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.
* Pass Rush Repertoire: Variety.
* Reading & Reacting to Offensive Blocking Schemes with Speed & Precision.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
Power: Impressive. He's taller than optimal for a MidFielder, which detracts from his Vertical Leverage, but his Core Power, as evidenced by both Tape and by his sensational Vertical at his Pro Day, is outstanding.
Agility: Phenomenal. His Fluidity is just adequate, but his Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and Closing Speed are awesome.
Frame: Mediocre. Taller than optimal for a MidFielder, which detracts from'is Vertical Leverage. Decent WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Mediocre but with exceptional Potential. His Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, and FootWork are all pretty raw, as is his Pass Rushing Repertoire. But his Paw Persistence, is outstanding. He needs Training.
Processing Speed: Mediocre. His Speed & Efficacy, Reading & Reacting to Offensive HornSwoggling, is inconsistent. He seems to have exceptional Diagnostic Acuity, but marginal Diagnostic Velocity, once the Play Goes Live.
Motor: Magnificent Intensity and Stamina.
Run Defense: Exceptional and potentially awesome. He's got the Core Power to compete and potentially excel at The Point of Attack, and the blazing Speed to dominate In Pursuit. What he needs, of course, is to develop his Combat Skills and Processing Speed, in order to become more consistent an analyzing Traffic, at navigating it, and at Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Competitive and potentially exceptional. Mediocre Fluidity translates to mediocre Verticity ~ that's Turn and Burn Talent, to you Earthlings!! ~ but his Speed is amazing. If he develops his Field Vision, he'll excel.
Pass Rush: Impressive and potentially tremendous. His Pass Rush Repertoire is raw, and he isn't likely to Bend the Edge too often, due to mediocre Fluidity, but his combination of Power and blistering Speed mean immense Potential.
The raw Combat Skills and Processing Speed are Red Flags in my Book, as they often indicate a lack of Intelligence and Drive. However, there is absolutely no question about Mister Davis's Drive, and enough Drive, given Time & Training, almost always eventually translates into effective Processing Speed and Combat Skills.
There's some Risk to betting on Jarrad Davis, but a good Bet, it is!!
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!