Dragon End ~ Taco Charlton ~ Michigan Wolverines ~ 6054/276
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:
Dragons ~ This is my terminology for Players who may've played either Defensive End or what you Earthlings call "OutSide LineBacker" in College, and who in any case possess the Size to player either at the next level. They would generally be deployed as Ends in a 43 or as "OutSide LineBackers" in a 34, and have even been known to get deployed as Interior Rushers in the Nascar Package. The Prototype would generally be somewhere around 6050/265 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Dragons 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.
Dragons in a 43 are Defensive Linemen, but Dragons in a 34, for instance, are off the Line and may be asked to drop into Pass Coverage from time to time, so that capacity ~ observed or inferred is going to be part of my Evaluations.
When evaluating Dragons, 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 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. 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 Coverage: Ditto.
Pass Rush: Double Dirty Dog 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: Terrific. Excellent Anchoring Strength against the Run and Tremendous Drive Power in the Pass Rush.
Agility: Excellent. Tremendous Launch Velocity, excellent Fluidity, and impressive Closing Speed. To Hell with'is 40 Time.
Frame: Excellent. Adequate Height, almost Too Tall, but not nearly. Outstanding WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Excellent. Exceptional Paw Positioning and Lateral Leverage. Terrific Paw Persistence and FootWork. His Pass Rushing Repertoire is still raw in terms of Sequencing, but he's put together a nice Arsenal.
Processing Speed: Impressive. Usually Reads & Reacts with exceptional Speed & Precision. Gap Discipline is sporadic.
Motor: Exceptional Intensity and Stamina. I've read that he's inconsistent in this regard, but I saw none'f that.
Run Defense: Impressive and potentially outstanding. He possesses the Anchoring Strength to excel at the Point of Attack and the Range to excel In Pursuit. All he needs is more Time & Training to ratchet up his Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: At 6054/276, he's at the top end both of Dragon Height and of Dragon Weight, but he nevertheless shows impressive Fluidity when occasionally asked to drop into Coverage. He could become effective.
Pass Rush: Excellent and potentially great. Taco brings an extraordinary fusion of Drive Power, Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Closing Speed to the Field of Battle, and while he's a Late Bloomer with plenty of Work to do ~ mostly in terms of transforming his Arsenal of Moves into consistently smooth Sequencing ~ but his Potential is immense.
As for the rest: I've also read that Viduantae Charlton brings an extraordinary and rare combination of Driver Power, Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Closing Speed to the Field of Battle, and those Words, I believe, are spot on.
His FootBall Intelligence ~ his Processing Speed and Field Vision ~ appear to've been slow to develop, but there's nothing troubling about that, frankly, as they improved over the course of his first Year ~ last Year ~ as a Starter.
And his Motor is exceptional.
Intelligence, Drive...and gobs of Talent. Taco Charlton is, in my estimation, The Complete Package.
Pay the Man!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!