Offensive Guard ~ Quinton Spain ~ West Virginia Moutaineers ~ 6040/330
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: Competitive. Impressive Launch Velocity. Deficient Fluidity but tremendous Acceleration. He's far more effective bursting UpField, though, than flanking to the Perimeter, which is a Liability. Suited for Power, not Zone.
Combat Skills: Deficient. There is exceptional Paw Power there, but his Mechanics are awful.
Intangibles: Outstanding. Impressive Field Vision & Processing Speed and phenomenal Motor.
Run Blocking: Competitive in a Power Blocking Scheme, because while I believe that his most important Attribute in such a Format, his Core Power, is deficient, his impressive Launch Velocity and especially his formidable Torso Power and tremendous Acceleration are of particular Importance there, whereas in a Zone Blocking Scheme his size, his deficient Core Power, and especially his lack of Fluidity would likely be more than Time & Training could overcome.
Pass Blocking: Deficient. Time & Training will indeed be a need, for while Spain's Field Vision is impressive and his Motor magnificent, that combination of raw Combat Skills and deficient Fluidity is the stuff of a QuarterBack's NightMares.
I, on the other hand, perceive this as a deficiency in Core Power.
And Core Power, let me be clear, is not Core Power unless the meaning extends all the way to the knees.
Core Power and Core Agility ~ or Fluidity ~ are of course interwoven, as to some extend are all physical Attributes...and to a great extent, mental Attributes, as physical Coordination is heavily influenced by one's depth of mental comfort.
But I digress. Just a note that I find interesting.
I believe that Quinton Spain's deficient Core Power and deficient Core Agility ~ or Fluidity ~ could very well prove fatal to his Chances of Success or even survival at the next level: I don't believe that he'll ever consistently unleash that formidable Torso Power if his Core Power isn't improved considerably, and deficient Fluidity is, from my particular Perspective, diabolically dangerous to any Chance of Success in any Aspect of this Great and Grand Game.
Frankly, I would advise Mister Spain to dedicate himself to Core Training & Pilates for the next few Years.
Having dispensed with that Unsolicited Advice, I will note that there seems to be plenty to work with, here. Spain does have tremendous Straight Line Speed, incredible Acceleration for a man of his Size, and outstanding Torso Power.
More importantly, he's got Intelligence...and he's got Drive.
It seems to me that most Prospects with the Deficiencies that I've written about here ~ Core Power, Core Agility or Fluidity, and incredibly raw Combat Skills ~ fail to overcome them, either because they can't, because they don't recognize the Problem, or because they don't receive sufficient Education and Training at the next level.
But it also seems to me that of the Prospects who succeed in overcoming such Deficiencies, a disproportionately large number of them exhibit precisely the elevated levels of Intelligence and Drive that Quinton Spain does.
He seems to me to be a guy worth betting on.
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!!