MidFielder ~ Oren Burks ~ Vanderbilt Commodores ~ 6030/234
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:
MidFielders ~ This is in fact my collective term for all of what you Earthlings refer to as "LineBackers", a term that I consider moderately insulting to the Players in question. The reason I'm employing a collective term ~ at least for now ~ is that I believe that the Skill Sets for any of the 3 or 4 Jobs indicated therein are remarkably similar, though their Duties are certainly considerably divergent. The Prototype for any MidFielder would be about 6000/240 or thereabouts.
I don't consider Dragons that play what you Earthlings refer to as "OutSide LineBacker" in a 34 Defense to be MidFielders.
Dragons have a particular Skill Set and natural strengths which are divergent to those of MidFielders.
MidFielders, whether in a 434, a 335, a 425, a 245, or whatever you come up with, are natural Super Hybrids who can quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Drop into Coverage, and, above all, Defend against the Run.
When evaluating MidFielders, this is how I break things down:
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. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Tackling: Thunderous Booms are all very well, but I'm more interested in form and efficiency!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Coverage: Ditto.
Pass Rush: Double Dirty Dog 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: 40. A disadvantageous Frame for Power ~ too tall ~ but tremendous Core Power and overall proportions.
Agility: 80. Excellent Fluidity and excellent Acceleration. Covers a lot of ground quickly.
Frame: 50. Too tall for optimal Vertical Leverage, but with a terrific WingSpan.
Combat Skills: 40, but improved nicely over the course of the Campaign. Burks is a recent CenterFielder ~ "Free Safety", to you Earthlings ~ who's still acclimating to playing closer to the Line of Scrimmage.
Processing Speed: 40. Yet again: improved nicely over the course of the Campaign. And he is by all accounts very smart.
Tackling: 40. Once more, with feeling: improved nicely over the course of the Campaign.
Motor: 80. Excellent Intensity and Stamina. A Leader.
Run Defense: 50 and improving. Mediocre at The Point of Attack. Impressive In Pursuit.
Pass Coverage: 60 and improving. Terrific Agility and improving Field Vision.
Pass Rush: 40 and improving. His Speed and WingSpan offer potential.
Oren Burks certainly falls into that category of being difficult to find a category for ~ as did his predecessor at Vanderbilt, Zachary Cunningham. Like Cunningham, he's too damned tall and not meaty enough to be an optimal fit for MidFielder, but, again like Cunnningham, he's not big enough to really be called a Bandit, and he's too big to be called a RoverBack...and, like Cunningham, he is blessed with an terrific WingSpan ~ which goes a long way!! ~ and a brilliant mind.
Oren Burks is very much a projection play, one on which I could easily get scorched.
His Game as a MidFielder is pretty raw, due to his having only the one Year at MidFielder, having previously played 2 Years at CenterFielder and one at Gryphon. But improvement was evident in all aspects of his Game, over the course of the campaign, his Motor is excellent, and his Intelligence and Work Ethic are by all accounts phenomenal.
"Trajectory > A Philosophical Formula that calculates a Prospect's Potential & Risk, based on perceptions of Talent, Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk."
Should young Oren Burks develop his Combat Skills, his Field Vision and Processing Speed, and his Tackling sufficiently to unleash his tremendous raw potential, I believe that that potential will translate into a solid Run Defender at The Point of Attack, an extraordinary Run Defender In Pursuit, an excellent Pass Defender, and an exceptional Pass Rusher.
Furthermore, he is a Leader with the Intelligence to master his craft and become a true Mike MidFielder.
Talent? 1st Rounder.
Game? 6th/7th Rounder.
Chances of Becoming All That He Can Be?
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!!