Offensive Guard ~ Max Garcia ~ Florida Gators 6040/308
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 Guards:
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.
* Paw Power ~ The Power & Speed of the initial Punch.
* Paw Velocity ~ How active the Hands are.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Frame ~ Above all: WingSpan.
* 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: Awful. His mediocre Launch Velocity is his best athletic Attribute, as his Fluidity and Short Speed are terrible.
Combat Skills: Tremendous. Impressive Paw Power, excellent Mechanics, and outstanding Persistence.
Intangibles: Outstanding. Terrific Motor and tremendous Field Vision and Processing Speed. Voted Team Captain in only'is second Year on the Team. Reportedly spends as much time on Tape as on the Weights. Played several Offensive Line Positions, including Center, Guard, and Tackle, yet managed to look mentally quick on the Field of Battle.
Run Blocking: Competitive. Needless to say, Garcia's Team had best be heavily into that Power Blocking thing. Presuming this is so, Garcia's Motor, Combat Skills, and Intelligence should compensate for a minimum of physical Talent. He'd be best driving straight ahead, of course, as I don't foresee'm making much of an Impact on Traps or Pulls.
Pass Blocking: Marginal. He could be in real Trouble, here, because what I suspect to be shaky Core Power, camouflaged up to now by tremendous Torso Power, is more likely to get exposed, I believe, when he's trying to Anchor as a Pass Blocker then when he's trying to Drive as a Run Blocker. And he's going to have enormous Problems with Speed.
Fortunately, for Garcia and his ilk, Intangibles mean a lot...Especially in The Trenches!!
I have a far more pessimistic point of view regarding Max Garcia's Power than most, and I strongly suspect that while he'll produce the occasional spectacular PanCake against inferior Competition ~ or inferior Effort ~ he will nevertheless prove to be decisively outmatched by the better Defenders at the next level. But even to that ominous note I will add that Max Garcia strikes me as the kind of Trench Warrior who'll perform increasingly well as the Game rolls on.
I don't value Garcia's Stock as much as most, but I will say this: He is by all accounts a Leader who works like a Dog, does any job you ask'm, and masters in it in astonishingly short time, and he's incredibly versatile. I haven't met'm, so this is speculative, as is everything I do here, but I've been around long enough to've become pretty good at reading the Tea Leaves, so to speak, and it seems all but certain, even from this distance, that Garcia's Work Ethic, Intelligence, remarkable Versatility, and natural Leadership would prove invaluable to any Locker Room.
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!!