Offensive Guard ~ Brandon Scherff ~ Iowa HawkEyes ~ 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.
* 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: Adept. Scherff gets lauded for his freakishly fast "40" Time ~ his Long Speed and Straight Line Speed ~ but I am far less enthusiastic about'is mediocre Fluidity. His Launch Velocity and Acceleration, however, are outstanding.
Combat Skills: Adept. Excellent Paw Power but raw, inconsistent Mechanics.
Intangibles: Exceptional. I'd have to say that he seems to me to command only Mediocre Diagnostic Velocity, as it's not unusual to see'm react a Tick late to a Stunt, but his Motor is absolutely flat out sensational.
Run Blocking: Extraordinary. Outstanding Launch Velocity, simply phenomenal Drive Power, and exceptional Acceleration DownField. However, his Fluidity is mediocre, which significantly weakens his Acceleration to the Flanks ~ his Lateral Agility and Range. Therefore, I believe that he would be far more effective in a Power Blocking Scheme.
Pass Blocking: Adept. Mind you: It's absolutely crucial to keep in mind that I am grading him as a Guard ~ and preferably at Right Guard. As a Tackle, I believe that he'd have a very rough time of it. But given the limited Range that a Guard is asked to protect in Pass Protection, Scherff's outstanding Anchoring Strength and excellent Paw Power, combined with that sensational Motor, should compensate quite nicely for his raw Field Vision and mediocre Fluidity.
I am undeniably engaging in Speculation, but that of course is what Prospecting is all about!!
I believe that Scherff's only real Weakness is mediocre Fluidity. Of course I personally consider that the Cardinal Physical Attribute: That's the very last Weakness you want to have. Even so, it's not a crippling matter, so long as the Team that drafts'm is wise enough to shift'm inside to Guard. Likewise, he'd be best away from Left Guard, where he'd face exceptionally athletic Pass Rushers more often. The less Speed he has to deal with, the better he'll be.
And as a Road Grading Run Blocker, one outstanding not only at demolishing Defenders at the Line of Scrimmage, but also at surging UpField and wreaking havoc on MidFielders and Flankers, Scherff could be phenomenal.
And in Pass Protection, he'll have some issues with Speed, yes, but at Right Guard he'd face a minimum of that, and I'd expect that his magnificent Core Power and unrelenting Motor mean that he'll win far more than his share of Battles.
As a Tackle, frankly, I'm thinking a Competitor Grade & 4th/5th Round Rank for Scherff, which would of course represent yet another Dramatic DisConnect between Consensus Opinion and myself, as Scherff is currently tracking Top 10!!
As a Guard, however, I believe that he could make an enormous Impact at the next level ~ enough to warrant a Beast Grade and a 1st/2nd Round Grade. Whether or not he actually gets drafted as a Guard, though...Well, that's a big question!!
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!!