Gryphon ~ Shaq Thompson ~ Washington Huskies ~ 6000/228
The Gryphon would optimally be able to play RoverBack in "Base" Formations, and drop down to MidFielder for Big Nickel.
Gryphons could thus quite conceivably emerge as the Field Generals of the Defense in the Years to come.
When evaluating Gryphons, this is how I break things down:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Processing Speed: Phenomenal. Way Up High or Way Down Low, Thompson always knows which way to go.
Run Defense: Phenomenal. I hate repeating myself, but: Yeah. Phenomenal. Most will disagree with this Grade, but that's because most folks are inexplicably stuck in the 20th Century, and don't realize that Shaq Thompson isn't a LineBacker. Shaq Thompson is an Hybrid ~ a Wild Card. He is a Gryphon, and in the context of what a Gryphon's Hybrid Responsibilities project to be, Thompson is incredibly well-equipped to handle Run Defense. He is extraordinarily physical, he is remarkably adept at navigating either through or around Traffic, and he tackles consistently well. His greatest Attributes in Run Defense, though, are unquestionably his phenomenal Processing Speed and his sensational Acceleration in Pursuit. Between his blistering Read & React Time, his explosive Ricochet to Redirect, his serpentine Fluidity and ferocious Combat Skills and through Traffic, and his scintillating Acceleration, Thompson covers an astonishing swath of Territory, and he closes hard and fast and tackles soundly. Yeah, he'll do.
Pass Coverage: Tremendous. It's crucial to keep in mind that while I hold Gryphons ~ and Rovers & CenterFielders ~ to an higher Standard of Pass Coverage than I do MidFielders or Bandits, much less Dragons, I don't hold them to nearly as high a Standard as I do CornerBacks, for their Responsibilities are different as, presumably, are their Skill Sets. As a Gryphon is generally tasked to handle Zone Responsibilities, or, if in Man Coverage, the 3rd, 4th, or 5th Receiver, I grade accordingly. Having so noted, Thompson brings an extremely impressive combination of Attributes to the Position. In Man Coverage, I believe that his extraordinary Fluidity, which translates to extraordinary Verticity, combined with outstanding Combat Tactics and explosive Acceleration, translate into an exceptional Pass Defender. And in Zone, his amazing Processing Speed, serpentine Fluidity, and phenomenal Acceleration render'm extraordinarily dangerous.
Can't hit the Curve.
Oh, wait...Let me check my notes...
Anyone who questions whether Shaq Thompson should play Offense or Defense hasn't seen'm on a BaseBall Diamond.
That was said with Love, Brother Shaq!! And, yes: I think you'd make one Hell of an HalfBack ~ not that you're asking!!
We all understand, I imagine, that is virtually biologically impossible to create a Creature who is Big & Strong enough to work through Traffic and make Tackles like a MidFielder, yet Small & Fast enough to Turn & Burn with WideOuts at a competitive level, much less to find one who can do either or both with any level of Excellence.
Rarer yet, I would imagine, is the Defender who can manage either task at an high level having had to instantaneously make the right Call as to which Role he had best play on each particular Snap: Battering Beast or Soaring Eagle.
Rarest of all, I would further propose, is the Defender who can manage all of that while directing the rest of the Secondary.
These are Demanding Times for Defenses, ever more so, but Teams that can find a Defender with such a Skill Set, who can direct their Secondary against Base Sets and then drop down when a MidFielder is flipped out for an additional CornerBack against Passing Sets, will've attained an enormous Advantage on the Field of Battle.
And I believe that Shaq Thompson is precisely that guy.
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!!