Yeti ~ Jordan Phillips ~ Oklahoma Sooners 6051/330
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:
Yetis ~ I wanted to go with "Gorillas", but there's too much lingering Stigma with that. Yetis have the Size of Nose Tackles but the WingSpan of Defensive Ends. As such, they are genuine Hybrids, and can conceivably line up anywhere from Tackle to Tackle, across from the Offensive Line. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6050/325 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Yetis may often or even routinely do 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 Yetis, 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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 in the Pass Rush.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Competitive. Phillips gets lauded for tremendous Athleticism throughout the Scouting Community, but I just don't see it. He looks impressive, but to me his Launch Velocity, Fluidity, and Acceleration all seem merely competitive.
Combat Skills: Competitive. Impressive Paw Power and an awesome Frame, but mediocre Mechanics.
Intangibles: Mediocre. Mediocre Motor and Field Vision.
Run Defense: Mediocre. Despite a Bunyanesque Frame, Phillips projects mediocre Core Power and therefore mediocre Power, period, which translates to mediocre Anchoring Strength, and, ultimately, to mediocre Run Defense. I'll say, however, that I'm not even now entirely convinced that he might look a lot different out on Defensive End.
Pass Rush: Mediocre. All that Core Power and Agility that I read about simply don't manifest themselves to my admittedly and unabashedly amateurish eyes on Tape. I perceive impressive Paw Power and an undeniably awesome Frame. However, I also perceive mediocre Drive Power, mediocre Mechanics, and mediocre Motor & Field Vision.
The word out there is that Scouts generally believe that he'd be best suited to stay at the Nose at the next level.
I believe that that would be insane.
Phillips plays Too High, Too Often...But I'm given to wonder if that is to a great extent a result of his having played most'f'is Snaps on the Nose, against shorter Centers, rather than out on the Edge against lengthier Tackles.
It might even have a lot to do with the Back Injury that blew up his 2013 Campaign.
I watch the guy on Tape and no way do I see a Nose Tackle. I believe that if the Team that drafts'm is smart, Phillips will see a lot of time as a 34 Defensive End and as a 43 Under Tackle or 3 Tech. The more Snaps he gets out towards the end of the Line, against tall guys who don't wield a Leverage Advantage on Phillips, the more effective he might be.
Even so, I don't see the dynamic Impact Prospect on Tape that so many in the Draft World perceive.
Phillips has that terrific Frame, but I simply wasn't amazed by his Power, his Agility, his Mechanics, or his Motor.
It seems to me that this former Five Star Recruit has failed to develop The Game to go with The Frame.
Trajectory works both ways, dontcha know.
There's an huge Chance of my being way off in this Evaluation, based on that wafer-thin Resume, the possibility that his 2014 Game Tape was affected by lingering affects of the 2013 Back Injury, and of course all the InterViewing, Inside Information, and Expertise that OutSiders like myself are never privy to. I can only go with what I see.
And what I see, frankly, is a fundamentally gifted Prospect who's failure, so far, to develop the Game to match the Frame indicates an Elevated Bust Factor. He may very well pan out, but I wouldn't want to count on that.
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!!