MidFielder ~ Paul Dawson ~ Texas Christian Horny Frogs ~ 6000/234
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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
Agility: Tremendous. His notoriously sluggish 40 Time at the Combine simply doesn't matter to me. His Launch Velocity and Acceleration are impressive, and his Fluidity, the Mother of all Agility Attributes, is phenomenal.
Combat Skills: Competitive. Impressive Mechanics, but he's inconsistently disciplined in navigating Traffic.
Intangibles: Hoo, boy. Mixed Bag, mixed bag. Magnificent Processing Speed and Field Vision. Impressive Motor. But I must say that Rumors of Young Dawson's undisciplined and slackadaiscal Attitude ring true to these ears.
Run Defense: Exceptional. Mediocre at the Point of Attack, due to marginal Anchoring Strength, which is attenuated by his impressive Mechanics yet exacerbated by his inconsistent discipline in navigating Traffic. His Tackling Mechanics are tremendous, though, and his phenomenal Processing Speed & Fluidity enable extraordinary Range in Pursuit.
Pass Coverage: Phenomenal. Magnificent Diagnostic Velocity and Fluidity translate both in Zone and Man Coverage.
Pass Rush: Impressive and with outstanding Potential. He certainly won't win with Drive Power, but his Mechanics are impressive, his Fluidity is phenomenal, and his sense of Timing is magnificent.
I just don't know.
I'm getting a strong "Top 10 Talent/UFA Mentality" vibe, here, much as I do with Jameis Winston.
Like Winston, Dawson seems to be blessed with phenomenal Processing Speed.
And like Winston, he gives me a strong Impression of taking it for granted.
I do not presume to know Paul Dawson, mind you. But if I'm to write an honest Evaluation, it has to embrace Trajectory, above all things, and if it's to embrace Trajectory, it has to include my impression of his Drive ~ his Passion.
And young Dawson himself writes openly of his slackadaisical approach to things.
I am most definitely on an Island in assessing a 2nd/3rd Round Rank to Jameis Winston, but even as I utterly agree that his natural Talents are worthy of not only the #01 Pick, but a few of them, it is my very strong impression that he lacks the Drive and Focus to become all that he can be. I believe that he projects as a Ben Roethlisberger or Jay Culter type of QuarterBack, and as such I hesitate even to attribute a 2nd/3rd Round Value to this Prospective Team Leader.
I don't believe that Roethlisberger or Cutler are Leaders. I believe that they are perceived as Leaders solely because of the Position that they play, and I believe, furthermore, that they are as detrimental to their Teams's Successes as they are productive of it, Cutler more obviously so, but I believe the Steelers won Super Bowls despite Roethlisberger.
In the Salary Cap Era, I'd rather have a No Talent Scrapper like Kyle Orton running the Huddles, spending the $15,000,000 or so that I just saved on an half dozen FootBall Players who're dedicated to their TeamMates and to Winning.
I like Paul Dawson...But I just don't perceive that kind of Dedication from'm.
If the light flashes on for either him or for Winston, then either or both will reap their Teams great Rewards, indeed, for pulling the Triggers on them. And I'm not here to say that I don't consider that outcome very possible.
I simply believe that there is a great Risk that they'll spend their entire Careers leaving their Teams wanting more.
Allow me to append this, if I may: Dawson actually calls himself a KnuckleHead in that Article. To my way of thinking, that's actually a big Point in his Favor. Self Awareness is an admirable thing. And even more so, in my Book, is the Character it takes to tell the Truth, which is what Dawson did, rather than spout out empty Platitudes and Tell Us What We Want To Hear. As such, let me just say that I'm keeping an open mind about this young man...and open ears, as it were.
Projection? I believe that Paul Dawson's Skill Set speaks beautifully to play either the Will MidFielder in a 43, where he can Run & Chase in Run Defense and Flip Hips in Pass Defense, or as the Mike MidFielder in a 34, where the presumably beefier Ted MidFielder can clear Traffic for'm in Run Defense, Good Man, freeing up Dawson to apply his extraordinary Field Vision and Processing Speed to running the Defense and deploying his tremendous Talents appropriately.
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!!