Illinois Huskies ~ 5106/192
I can no longer abide the application of the pathetically weak and flaccid term "Safety" to Gladiators.
It is struck from my Vocabulary.
The erstwhile "Free Safety" is truly the CenterFielder of the Defense. Honestly, I consider the term absolutely perfect.
And the erstwhile "Strong Safety", playing an increasingly hybrid Role and constantly improvising, is a RoverBack, I think.
When analyzing the Merits of a prospective CenterFielder, this is how I personally break things down:
Intangibles: Diagnostic Acuity, Field Vision, and, above all: Processing Speed. And of course: Motor. Motor Matters.
Agility: Acceleration, Fluidity, and Closing Speed. And of course: Verticity!! Turning & Burning in Direct Coverage.
Pass Prevention: Timing, Vertical Burst, WingSpan, and don't forget the Brutality!!
Run Support: Appetite, Tactical Discipline, and Combat Skills ~ working through Traffic & Tackling Mechanics.
Agility: Awesome. Tremendous Fluidity, outstanding Acceleration, and terrific Closing Speed. Ward is Agile enough to play Corner, and has sufficient Verticity ~ that's "Turn & Burn" Acuity, Earthlings ~ to Flip Hips and run with Tight Ends, Flex Ends, and the occasional Flex Back...But his Skill Set shouts that he was born to play CenterFielder.
Pass Prevention: Exceptional. Neither his WingSpan nor'is Vertical Burst are remarkable, but Ward's Timing and Instincts are rare. He always seems to be a quarter second ~ a Click ~ ahead of everybody else, and his remarkable Fluidity, Acceleration, and Closing Speed enable him to consistently get there just it time to Make a Play.
Run Support: Outstanding. Ward reads the Tactical LandScape exceptionally well, and rarely exposes his Defense's Flank, which is a rare and admirable Trait these days, let me tell you...And along with this startling level of awareness and Strategic Thinking, Ward brings an enormous Appetite for Violence to the table. His Frame is not the kind that will enable him to become a dominant Run Defender, but he works through Traffic and Tackles consistently well and with Force.
And I believe that he could become an extraordinary one.
And there's definitely enough Verticity there for'm to flip to NickelBack on obvious Passing Downs and excel at it.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value