Dragon End ~ Adetarami Aruna ~ Tulane Green Wave ~ 6045/264
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 Rush: 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: 75, and with awesome potential. Aruna held up remarkably well despite being woefully miscast as a 34 End in 2017, having previously played a far more appropriate 43 End. He'd occasionally get ragdolled, but that was more a function of raw Combat Skills than anything else. And there is even more potential, as he continues to acclimate to FootBall. He's raw, but his Vertical at The Combine was sensational. It's just a matter of Time and Training.
Agility: 72. Mediocre Fluidity, but phenomenal Launch Velocity and Acceleration.
Frame: 84. The perfect Height for Dragon, an excellent WingSpan, and awesome Hands.
Combat Skills: 25. Raw. Dog raw.
Processing Speed: 25. Raw. Dog raw.
Motor: 80. Terrific Intensity and excellent Stamina.
Run Defense: 50. Very inconsistent because of his raw Game, but with the Power to potentially become dominant at the Point of Attack, and with the Speed, Motor, and WingSpan to make an enormous impact in Pursuit.
Pass Rush: 40, but with the Launch Velocity, Power, WingSpan, and Closing Speed to develop into an extraordinary Pass Rusher, despite mediocre Fluidity, if he can develop his Pass Rush Repertoire.
Debit: He just turned 24 in April.
Ceiling? Beast!! 1st Rounder. Aruna is incredibly raw ~ dog raw, baby!! ~ but his combination of Power, Speed, and Length is phenomenal, and he's got a terrific Motor. If he ever develop it all, he'll attain Greatness.
Floor? Reserve. 6th/7th Rounder who never develops and takes up a roster spot because of potential, not production.
Risk/Reward Ratio? Sketchy!! I like his Motor, but he got a very late start, and he's already 24. He works hard, and he works through pain, so I am confident that he'll develop well enough to contribute, though perhaps not consistently. However, whether or not he develops his full potential with such a late start at FootBall is a far sketchier proposition.
His FootBall Intelligence and his potential to develop it soon enough and well enough to make the impact that he's theoretically capable of, considering his "advanced years", is what's in question, of course.
But I'd say that in any case his combination of Power, Speed, Length, and Drive makes him a very worthwhile bet!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!