Offensive Guard ~ Willie Beavers ~ Western
Michigan Broncos ~ 6045/320
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.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Endurance.
* 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: Exceptional all around Agility, Speed and Fluidity, both.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Exceptional Paw Persistence, but poor Paw Positioning and shaky FootWork.
Intangibles: Mediocre. Exceptional Motor but slow Processing Speed and shaky Field Vision.
Run Blocking: Beavers has the physical Talent to excel either in Power or in Zone, but because of his dubious Field Vision, I like his Chances in Power, better, where he'd generally be tasked to focus on one Foe, not process Tactics.
Pass Blocking: Beavers struggled with Speed at Tackle, but has the raw skills to dominate at Guard.
Based only on my projection of my perception of Willie Beavers's athletic Talents from Offensive Tackle to Guard, I'd give'm a Top 10, SuperBeast Grade & Rank...But based on'is Combat Skills and Field Vision, I see a UFA!!
What tilts me in his Favor is the Energy that he persistently exhibits. His Field Vision and Combat Skills need Tons of Work, but I believe that he's got the Motor to invest the extensive Time & Training that it's gonna take.
The question of course is how well those Aspects can be developed.
As for Position, he struggled at Guard at the Senior Bowl, but in my Book that's not even a Red Flag: He played at Offensive Tackle for'is entire Career. I wouldn't expect'm to play like John Hannah his first time out there.
Offensive Guard seems clearly to be his best Projection, as I see it: He's got the Speed and Fluidity for Tackle, but not the WingSpan. Yet at Guard his WingSpan would be excellent, and his combination of Power, Fluidity, and Speed are absolutely perfect for a Power Scheme Team. He's got a lot of Time & Training ahead'f'm, mind you, but if he develops sufficiently, he he has the Potential to dominate at the Point of Attack and Wreak Havoc DownField!!
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!!