Lion End ~ Richard McIntosh ~ Miami Hurricanes ~ 6045/286
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:
Lions ~ This is my term for Defensive Linemen with the Size of a smaller and faster Defensive Tackle and the WingSpan of a Defensive End. Like the Grizzlies, they can line up at End in a 34 or at Tackle in a 43, or just about anywhere in either Formation, and conceivably play either 1 Gap or 2 Gap. The Prototype would be about 6050/300 or less.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Lions may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Lions, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the Torso Power 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, which, I believe, 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: Vertical 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!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Rush: 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: 25. Absolutely awful Drive Power and Anchoring Strength. Time to hit the weights, son!!
Agility: 90. Strangely, McIntosh had himself one horrific nightmare of a Pro Day...But on Tape, his Launch Velocity is electric, his Fluidity is smooth and silky, and his Closing Speed is absolutely tremendous.
Frame: 90. Good Height for End, a bit tall for Tackle, but above all a phenomenal WingSpan.
Combat Skills: 40. Exceptional Paw Persistence, in raw in every other aspect.
Processing Speed: 75. Consistently exceptional Instincts and Timing. He batted about 8000 Passes down at the Line of Scrimmage, synced Twists and Stunts beautifully, and kept his eyes on the flow of the Play.
Motor: 90. Tremendous Intensity and Stamina.
Run Defense: 33. A black hole at the Point of Attack...and not in a good way!! Exceptional in Pursuit, though. If he can develop that Power, though, and those Combat Skills, he could become outstanding.
Pass Rush: 50, and here, too, with outstanding Potential, as McIntosh brings a formidable fusion of all-around top shelf Agility, exceptional Instincts, and that sprawling WingSpan to the Battle. He already brings a decent level of sporadic Pressure, and if he beefs up and successfully develops his Combat Skills, he could be a major force.
But it is what it is. McIntosh played mostly Tackle at Miami, but seems to me to profile far better as a 34 End who reduces inside on Passing Downs, mostly because with his anemic current Power level, he'd very likely get stomped into the ground if he played all his Downs at Tackle!! His Agility projects well at any point on the Line, though.
Ceiling? Beast!! 1st/2nd Round. McIntosh has top shelf Fluidity and Speed, top shelf Length, and an awesome Motor. And he's still young enough that there's a reasonable chance that he'll develop the Power he needs to compete. And if he manages to do so, while developing his Combat Skills, he could become a dominant Pass Rusher who doesn't necessarily need to get yanked off the Field of Running Downs. That's genuine All Pro Potential.
Floor? Reserve. 6th/7th Round. If he fails to develop his Power and Combat Skills, he should never be put in Harm's Way on Running Downs, and even as, therefore, a Pass Rushing Specialist, all the Speed and Fluidity in the world, without Power or Combat Skills, won't get you very far. He might struggle just to make the 53 man Roster.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Dicey, but I'm optimistic. Both his Power and his Combat Skills have a long way to go for McIntosh to become effective, much less excellent. And the very rawness of his Combat Skills is not positive testimony to his Intelligence and Drive, as they are of course crucial in developing them. His Field Vision, Processing Speed, and relentless Motor, on the other hand, are very positive indicators that he will become 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!!