Offensive Guards ~ Terry Poole ~ San Diego State Aztecs ~ 6045/308
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: Mediocre. Impressive Launch Velocity, but poor Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Marginal Mechanics and a Deficient WingSpan, even for Guard.
Intangibles: Marginal. Strong Motor, but Insufficient Field Vision.
Run Blocking: Marginal. Impressive Launch Velocity, but with weak Drive Power, lousy Fluidity, and marginal Mechanics.
Pass Blocking: Marginal. See Above.
And when a Team that whose Leadership I intensely admire for its Innovative and indeed Revolutionary Approach to things ~ such as Peter Carroll and the Seattle SeaHawks ~ makes a Bet on such a Prospect ~ our man Terry Poole ~ whose Functional Power appears horrible on Tape ~ as it does ~ but who erupted for a sensational 113 Broad Jump at the Combine ~ as Poole did ~ then I feel obliged to take a Second Look at the Tape ~ as I most certainly did.
I still don't see it, though. Pete Carroll and his Sea of Scouts are each one of them vastly my Superior on such matters, but keep my own Council I must, and my Perception is that, even allowing for Poole having been egregiously miscast as a Tackle and for the Potential Power suggested by his Broad Jump, he's a Long Shot to develop adequate Power.
And I simply don't see what the SeaHawks see. But it'll be interesting to see what they do with Poole, as Coach Carroll isn't shy about converting Prospects into completely different Roles, one of many things I admire about'm.
For me, I think it's Crystal Clear that with that WingSpan Poole needs to convert to Offensive Guard at the very least and you could even make an Argument for Center, though I personally consider'm too tall for that to be a good fit.
I will also say that there are several things about Poole that intrigue me: That dazzling Broad Jump is first and foremost. My Belief that Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and even Field Vision are often camouflaged by egregious miscasting such as Poole was victimized with is second. The fact that he is actually a BasketBall Convertible is third, as that is one of my favorite Stealth Signals. And the fact that he's only been playing FootBall for 5 Years and Offense for 4 is fourth.
Every one of those 4 Factors is a reminder to me that The Tape is only part of The Story.
There is, as I always say, almost always more there than meets the eye. I don't place quite as high a Value on Terry Poole's Services or Prospects as Coach Carroll evidently does, to be certain, and I do believe that Coach Carroll often pulls the Trigger a bit early, as indeed I believe he did, in this Case. But I'd be the last man to attack his Eye for Talent.
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!!