QuarterBack ~ Cardale Jones ~ Ohio State BuckEyes ~ 6050/252
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ The Men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannons, the more likely I believe it is that they persistently depend upon that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card, and thus fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Horrible. Awful Mechanics, and shows very little sense of Timing, Touch, or Trajectory: Rushing late Passes, as his Processing Speed hurts him in this regard, and all too often compensating for this with FastBalls when ChangeUps are called for, and also routinely failing to Lead His Man To DayLight ~ Timing & Trajectory, you know.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure: Marginal. Very Tough and very Strong, but with developmental Temporal and Spatial Instincts for the Pass Rush, exacerbated by developmental Processing Speed.
FirePower: Excellent, astonishingly enough, because I grade not on Raw Power ~ which is his case is phenomenal ~ but on DownField Precision...of which he manifests plenty!! Despite a generally unrefined Game, Jones had a remarkably developed capacity to sling it DownField with Accuracy, Timing, and Touch. There is a spark of Hope, here.
I believe no such thing, of course: I believe that Processing Speed and Precision are the most important Attributes for playing QuarterBack and that these, unfortunately, are the weakest Aspects of Jones's Game.
I believe, indeed, that he might've benefited considerably from transferring this Year and getting in another Year of College with which to develop his extremely unrefined Game before venturing to take on the Pros.
Jones looked sensational a Year ago, but when College DC's got some Game Tape on'm and got a Chance to challenge him this Year, the Game suddenly became very fast for'm, or so it seems to me, and I believe that it was then that we learned far more about his capacity to Rapidly Read & React in the Tactical LandScape.
We learned ~ or at least: I believe that I did ~ that he's got a long, long way to go.
Even so: He's a very intriguing, exciting Prospect: He's stout Under Pressure, he by all accounts loves the Game, he's got that phenomenal Arm and the Frame to see the whole Field...and he's certainly proven that he possesses the natural Command, the Confidence, and the Emotional Resilience to lead a Team to a Championship.
And the fact that he hasn't yet developed the Processing Speed that I believe he'll need to succeed is less conclusive in his case than it usually is, simply because his Resume is so thin: We're not talking about a guy who's had 40 Starts, here. There is still at least the Possibility of the Potential for his developing sufficient Processing Speed.
I cannot justify the Market Value that his raw Skills have produced, but he's certainly worth a Draft Pick.
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would not be possible.
2nd ~ 5th Round
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!