Offensive Tackle ~ Jason Spriggs ~ Indiana Hoosiers ~ 6054/300
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 Tackles:
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 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: Extraordinary Launch Velocity, tremendous Acceleration, and outstanding Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Competitive. Adequate WingSpan. Mediocre Mechanics.
Intangibles: Competitive. Adequate Motor. Mediocre Processing Speed and Field Vision.
Run Blocking: Best suited for a Zone Scheme, Spriggs needs a lot of Work, in his Core Power, his Combat Skills, and his Command of the Tactical LandScape, but with his Agility he could potentially be extraordinary.
Pass Blocking: He's certainly got the Agility to develop into an outstanding Pass Protector, but as with his Run Blocking, that depends on his developing his Core Power and his Game far beyond its current level.
Based on his Agility alone, he's an easy 1st Round Prospect.
But the gutters are riddled with the Corpses of agile Offensive Tackles who lacked sufficient Power to compete.
Yeah, I sure do love turning that phrase!!
Spriggs currently fits that description, in my view. His WingSpan is adequate, but it's not a great Strength that's gonna save'm by allowing him to hold Enemies at Bay in lieu of genuine Power, and all the Agility in the World won't do you any good if you're quick enough to stay in front'f a guy but then just get BullRushed by'm!!
And his Mechanics have a long way to go. Right now they are a Liability, exacerbating his lack of Power.
Even as a Run Blocker, his Craft needs a great deal of Work. He could certainly develop into an extraordinary Zone Blocker, but only if his capacity to rapidly read the Tactical LandScape catches up to his Agility.
An exciting Prospect, to be certain. One with extraordinary Potential, but one with oodles of Risk, as well.
A lot of Time & Training will need to be invested to develop him, I think.
And Failure is a very strong Possibility.
As such, my perception of his Market Value diverges from the Market.
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!!