Offensive Center ~ Jessamen Dunker ~ Tennessee State Tigers ~ 6040/320
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 Centers:
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.
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: Marginal. He's got the perfect Size to play Guard, but lacks both Anchoring Strength and Drive Power.
Agility: Tremendous. Excellent Launch Velocity, excellent Fluidity, and extraordinary Acceleration and Speed.
Frame: Impressive. Taller that he ought to be for optimal Vertical Leverage at Center, but with an exceptional WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Awful. However, this may to some extent be a function of playing, arguably, out'f Position, for while Dunker has the Agility to play Offensive Tackle, he lacks the Length, the result'f which left'm all too often lunging. Even so, his Positioning, Lateral Leverage, and FootWork are uniformly deficient. There's a lot'f Work to do, here.
Processing Speed: Impressive, actually. He is generally quick and effective in diagnosing Defensive Schemes.
Motor: Impressive Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: Horrible on a Power Scheme Team. Even on a Zone Scheme Team, I'd have to go with Mediocre, because of his horrific combination of Power and Combat Skills, but his stunning Speed, excellent Fluidity, and impressive Processing Speed and Field Vision give'm tremendous Potential, if he can develop his Combat Skills.
Pass Blocking: Marginal, but again with Potential to excel, despite his awful Power and Combat Skills, both because of his terrific Fluidity to Mirror and his WingSpan, which is deficient for a Tackle but exceptional for a Center. If he can develop some Core Power and significantly improve his Combat Skills, he could improve dramatically.
It always amuses me to read about how such Prospects are Character Risks. Dunker was a dumb Freshman Kid who did something stupid, compounded it by doing something else stupid ~ his License ~ and got ~ correctly ~ suspended.
4 Years later, he's been a reliable 4 Year Starter who hasn't gotten into any trouble.
I ain't worried about his alleged Character Issues.
What I am worried about ~ or at least would be, had I a Worry Gland ~ is his Power and Combat Skills. Those ~ particularly the Combat Skills ~ are gonna have to improve dramatically if he's gonna succeed or even survive in this League.
However, if he does receive and successfully apply the Time & Professional Training he needs ~ and he'll obviously get the substantially improved Training, and I found nothing but Positives said about his Intelligence and Drive ~ he has the athletic Potential to develop into one of the best Zone Scheme Team Run Blockers in the League.
High Risk but High Reward if he pays off, and no Character concerns, as I calculate them.
That's worth a Spin of the Wheel.
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!!