Wolf Tackle ~ Maurice Hurst ~ Michigan Wolverines ~ 6012/294
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:
Wolves ~ Wolves are the smaller, faster Defensive Tackles. Whereas Grizzlies will generally be counted on to command Double Teams and stop the Inside Run, Wolves will usually be asked to penetrate the Pocket and disrupt, especially against the Pass. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6015/300 or less, and they're getting smaller.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Wolves may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Wolves, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the Torso Power 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, which, I believe, 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: Vertical 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 Rush: 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: 60. Exceptional Torso Power and impressive Core Power, but he lacks Tonnage, and thus can bring only so much Power to bear. He's able to exert his Vertical Leverage Advantage to the max, though.
Agility: 100. Sensational Launch Velocity and Acceleration, and tremendous Fluidity.
Frame: 40. A very short WingSpan is a major Liability. On the other hand, he takes full advantage of his Vertical Leverage Advantage, routinely getting under the pads of his Foes and exploiting that edge with impressive Core Power.
Combat Skills: 80. Excellent in all regards, especially Paw Persistence, routinely scrabbling frenetically for better positioning.
Processing Speed: 80. With the exception of a gigantic screw up against the BuckEyes in the 2017, where he inexplicably turned away from the QuarterBack who he had dead to rights, resulting in the QuarterBack rolling in for a TouchDown, he generally exhibited excellent Field Vision, no more so than in the many Stunts and Twists the Wolverines executed.
Motor: 100. Magnificent. Relentlessly intense.
Run Defense: 80. Exceptionally stout and remarkably effective at the Point of Attack and outstanding In Pursuit.
Pass Rush: 90. Explosive, Crafty, and Relentless, Hurst is a top shelf Pass Rushing Threat.
Red Flag: None. Hurst was flagged for a Heart Condition and reportedly removed from some Team's Boards, but was subsequently medically cleared to play. There is risk in everything, but he doesn't seem to carry extra.
Of course it might've been because of lingering concerns about his Heart Condition.
But all 32 teams?? When he was cleared??
Well...it is what it is. Size does matter, and all the Core Power in the world can't substitute for Tonnage, though I'd rather have the former than the latter: The gutters are littered with the corpses of the Big But Weak.
And Hurst, despite limitations imposed on'm by his Size, exhibits consistently impressive Power, due to having done the work to develop excellent Power within the framework of what he's got. I routinely saw'm successfully take on Double Teams at Michigan, and he held up just fine. His short WingSpan is an additional Liability, but he can hold up, inside.
Maurice Hurst is the rare Prospect who has proven, year after year, to be equally exceptional both in Run Defense and in his Pass Rush ~ Pressure = Production!! ~ and I believe that those translate to the next level in entirety.
Ceiling? Beast!! 1st Rounder. I believe that Hurst has the Potential to become a stout and effective Point of Attack Run Defender, a tremendous Pursuit Run Defender, and a sensational Pass Rusher.
Floor? Warrior!! 2nd Rounder. Yep. This guy is loaded with Intelligence and Drive...and Talent. Anything is possible, of course, even the possibility that his Heart Condition will prove to be a problem, after all...But as I like to say with my infamous Trajectory Formula: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Risk/Reward. He will be All That He Can Be.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Awesome. Given good health, I love his chances of success.
Pay the man!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!