Offensive Center ~ Patrick Elflein ~ Ohio State BuckEyes ~ 6024/304
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 Centers:
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.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* 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.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Competitive. Proportionate between Core Power and Torso Power.
Agility: Excellent. Exceptional Launch Velocity after his Snaps, Setting quickly in Pass Protection and engaging rapidly in Run Blocking. Exceptional Fluidity, exhibiting terrific Viscosity when Mirroring in Pass Protection and very spry when changing direction on the fly. And tremendous Acceleration to the Flanks or to the Second Level.
Frame: Mediocre. Moving from Right Guard to Offensive Center in 2016 was a very smart Move, as his Height is absolutely optimal for Maximum Vertical Leverage against Defensive Tackles. His WingSpan looks a bit short, though.
Combat Skills: Outstanding. First off, he consistently exhibits a tremendous Command of Horizontal Leverage, routinely getting Square or better with his Opponent. Second off, his Paw Positioning is consistently outstanding. And his Paw Persistence and FootWork are phenomenal. He battles relentlessly to stay square or better with'is Foe.
Processing Speed: Phenomenal. Despite not becoming the Center until 2016, Elflein has clearly put in Years of extensive Time & Training in the Tape Room, as his Command of the Tactical LandScape was as evident on 2015 Game Tape as indeed it is, now. And his extraordinary skill at rapidly reading and reacting in Pass Protection against Stunts & Twists is matched by his capacity to rapidly find Run Blocking Targets, moving either laterally or vertically, and to engage'm.
Motor: Magnificent. Elflein plays ferociously, busts his Ass on every Down, and keeps it up for the entire 60 Minutes.
Run Blocking: Phenomenal. Elflein is definitely best deployed in a Zone Blocking Scheme. He's not gonna drive too many Opponents too far off the Ball, and his WingSpan doesn't allow him to compensate by initiating Combat, so a Power Scheme would be a bad Match. But his sensational combination of Agility, Processing Speed, and Field Vision render Elflein a beautiful fit for a Zone Scheme Team, where his exceptional Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and Fluidity would enable'm to rapidly create Disruption in the Defensive BackField or on their Flanks, and where his phenomenal Processing Speed and Field Vision would allow'm to exploit the Disruption and tear open a few Holes!!
Pass Blocking: Effective. Elflein will probably be moderately susceptible to Speed because of his WingSpan, and to Top Shelf Power, as well. But as long as he's Double Teaming the best of the Power, as Centers virtually always do, he'll compete at a very high level against Power because of those outstanding Combat Skills and awesome Motor.
And against Top Shelf Speed he might very well have Issues, but Elflein's exceptional Launch Velocity and Fluidity should go a long way towards allowing him to engage even the most explosive Defensive Tackles, and if he can meet that Threshold, he's got the Combat Skills and he Motor to turn a lot of prospective Fails into Wins.
And against anything less than Top Shelf Speed he has, despite that WingSpan not enabling him to Initiate Combat as effectively as he'd like, his Launch Velocity is fast enough to more than compensate for that, his Fluidity to Mirror is excellent, and his outstanding Combat Skills and Motor should translate into consistent Success.
I thought that Patrick Elflein was very wise to move to Offensive Center this Year.
His Height is absolutely perfect for Maximum Vertical Leverage against Defensive Tackles.
And his brilliant Mind is absolutely perfect for the Role of Field General of the Trench Warriors!!
Patrick Elflein was born to play Offensive Center, and to do so for a Zone Scheme Team.
I'm a huge Fan. His Passion for this Great Game explodes through the screen, he plays ferociously on every Snap of every Game, whether it's Bowling Green or the Michigan Wolverines, he's a brilliant Tactician with phenomenal Processing Speed and Field Vision, and has clearly busted his Ass for Years both in Practice and after Practice to master every Technical and Tactical Aspect of this Great Game, by which I mean outstanding Combat Skills and Field Vision.
"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."
Patrick Elflein, Ladies & Laddies!!
I am a huge Fan.
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!!