Bruins ~ 6050/255
Such is the case with Defensive Ends. NFL Defenses have become more'r less evenly divided between "43" Teams and "34" Teams. Far more importantly, though, the line between "43" and "34" is rapidly becoming a very fuzzy one.
Teams are increasingly going with Hybrid Theory Concepts, and the result is that many "Positions" are becoming Hybrids.
Defensive Ends are at the very crux of this changing LandScape. Traditional "34" Ends are just as likely to be employed as 3 Tech Tackles, traditional "43" Ends are just as likely to be deployed as "34" Flank Defenders ~ "OutSide LineBacker", to you Earthlings ~ and both are increasingly being asked to morph between Roles.
As such, I consider the old notion of pretending that these guys all go into one "Defensive End" Category to be silly.
And I also find the idea of sub-categorizing them as "34" Ends and "43" Ends, while a step in the right direction, to be ridiculously inadequate: It ignores the fact that half these guys won't even be deployed that way, and it ignores the fact that a rapidly increasing number of Defenses are going to ask them to morph between Roles.
Lion is going to be my term for the 280 Pound Plus Defensive Ends who could project to Tackle.
Dragon is going to be my term for the 270 Pounders or less.
Within the 270's or in any unusual cases, it'll be a Judgement Call.
Lions will get drafted either to play "34" End, "43" Tackle...or both.
Dragons will get drafted either to play "34" Flanker, "43" End...or both!!
I should also add that some Prospects generally considered to be Defensive Tackles will fall under my definition of a Lion. Indeed, the way the Strategic & Tactical LandScape is evolving these days, it is of course not uncommon for an erstwhile Tackle to get kicked out to Defensive End. But of course what each Coach does with his Personnel is his Business.
My Purpose here is to try to categorize Prospects by Type, and I believe that there is substantial difference between Prospects who could play both End and Tackle and Prospects whose Skills Sets suggest that they do.
These latter are genuine Hybrids ~ Lions ~ and it is my Hope that those of you who honor my Site with your Visits will find my efforts to distinguish the one type from the other ~ wrought with Peril though it be!! ~ to be useful to your Purposes.
When evaluating Dragons, these are the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power. Above all: Core Power. Upper body Strength 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 Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game. And those Players who invest the time and effort to develop superior Core Power are far likelier to enjoy sustained good Health and stay on the Field.
Agility. Lateral 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. Mechanics. Launch Velocity, Paw Power, and Technique.
Intangibles. Diagnostic Capacity, Processing Speed, and Motor. How effectively he masters Spatial Diagnostics & Angles, how rapidly he recognizes and implements Blocking Schemes based on changing Defensive Tactics, and of course: Drive. How badly he wants it. These are of course difficult things to assess, but it's crucial to at least try to.
Pass Coverage ~ Still figuring it out, but he's equipped with tremendous Field Vision, extraordinary Lateral Velocity, and awesome Closing Speed. It'll take time, but I believe he'll become exceptional when he figures it all out.
Pass Rush ~ Magnificent. He just converted from FlexBack to Defender about 15 minutes ago, so the Mechanics are still a bit raw, but he commands phenomenal Launch Velocity and preposterous Closing Speed.
Intangibles ~ Phenomenal. Astonishing Diagnostic Capacity and Processing Speed. Switched from FlexBack to Flank Defender just about 3 seconds ago, and already exhibits tremendous ability to Rapidly Read & React to the Tactical LandScape. I cannot fathom how ludicrously Instinctive he's going to be in a Year or two. Awesome Motor.
Less than 2 Months ago, there was a Stampede to crown Anthony Barr as the best Defensive Prospect in the entire 2013 Draft, ahead of even the appropriately legendary Prospect Jadeveon Clowney...And now, without Barr having played a single Game in the interim, mind you, his Stock is dropping precipitously, from Top 3 to Top 20 or so.
All that is a mistake.
Anthony Barr just got hit with the Sophomore Jinx, despite being a Senior, because he was in his second Year at the Gig, and his Foes had had time to study him extensively and carefully prepare their responses.
That happens constantly in this Great Game...And in Life, for that matter.
Barr looked relatively human in his second Year as a result, so folks are poring over the Tape, expecting to see Godzilla, and walking away disillusioned. Turns out: Barr is human. Perhaps he and Clowney should talk.
Paralysis by Analysis.
That's all this is.
Anthony Barr is a Dream Prospect. He commands outlandish Agility, for one thing: His Launch Velocity is preposterous. He is developing his physique as rapidly as he is developing his Mastery ~ his Mastery ~ of this Great Game. He is brilliant, he has a terrifying Work Ethic, he consumes Tape and pulverizes Weight Rooms, and he is relentless.
For someone to've advanced his Game in less than 2 Years from Zero ~ from Zero ~ to the marauding, terrorizing Force that Anthony Barr has transformed himself into is utterly astonishing. And every Indicator that I can think of ~ Rate of Improvement, Work Ethic, Character, Intelligence, and magnificent natural Talent ~ are pointing skyward.
Yeah. I'm talking about Trajectory.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value