Offensive Tackle ~ Kyle Murphy ~ Stanford
Cardinal ~ 6063/306
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: Impressive. Moderate Launch Velocity but effective Acceleration. Exceptional Fluidity, though mediocre Ricochet.
Combat Skills: Exceptional. Excellent Persistence. Effective Paw Positioning and Sequencing. Awful WingSpan, though.
Intangibles: Outstanding. Tremendous Motor and terrific Processing Speed and Field Vision.
Run Blocking: Very little Potential in a Power Blocking Scheme, but very intriguing Potential in Zone
Pass Blocking: Here he has a big Problem, because that WingSpan is an enormous Liability. He's got the Fluidity to mirror effectively, but his lack of Core Power and Length are a potentially fatal combination of Flaws.
He certainly lacks the Functional Power to convert to Guard, a suggestion that I've read elsewhere.
But that same deficiency of Power, combined with a diabolically short WingSpan, are enormous Liabilities at Tackle, where Pass Rushers with Power can drive on'm and Pass Rushers with Speed can fly past his outstretched Arms!!
And yet he's an intriguing Prospect.
His Fluidity translates nicely into exceptional Lateral Agility, and his Combat Skills should enable him to obviate some of his Power and Length Liabilities, while leveraging his Fluidity Advantage: Letting him Stay In The Fight against many a Foe who'd otherwise overpower'm, while keeping other, faster Foes from completely breaking free.
And despite his lack of Power, his tremendous combination of Field Vision and Agility could render'm a Run Blocking Force on a Zone Blocking Team ~ the more Sweeps, Traps, and Green in general involved, the more effective he'd be.
And his tremendous Motor, his well developed Combat Skills, and his terrific Field Vision make it clear that we're talking about a kid with all sorts of Intelligence and Drive ~ one who's a very strong Bet to Be All He Can Be!!
Trajectory, my Friends: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk. I believe that Murphy's deficiencies of both Power and WingSpan are crippling...But they're not fatal. I don't think he's got the Talent to play at an high level, but he's got some Agility, he's got a load of Intelligence and Drive, and I believe that he's got a very low Ceiling and very high Floor.
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!