Offensive Tackle ~ Cedric Ogbuehi ~ Texas A&M Aggies ~ 6051/306
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 Tackles:
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: Phenomenal. Excellent Launch Velocity, phenomenal Fluidity, and extraordinary Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Mediocre but with exceptional, even outstanding Potential. Ogbuehi manifested deficient Paw Power and awful Mechanics for most of 2014, but improved considerably, once he acclimated to his latest Position. And therein, I believe, lies the Potential: Ogbuehi has played 3 Positions in 3 Years, and I believe that his Mechanics suffered egregiously for it, consequently. And I believe, based on his formerly far more cohesive Mechanics, that his late but considerable Improvement bodes well for the Future, particularly with that phenomenal WingSpan.
Intangibles: Sufficient. From a Processing Speed and Field Vision perspective, he seemed to rapidly and reliably read the Field of Battle, last Year. I did not get that same impression, this Year, but I am strongly inclined to consider that a consequence of changing Positions several times over the last few Years. Adequate Motor.
Run Blocking: Superb and with extraordinary Potential. Ogbuehi manifests mediocre Drive Power, but extraordinary Acceleration DownField and to the Flanks. A Zone Blocking Scheme is, far and away, his optimal Scenario.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional and with the Potential to become phenomenal. I strongly suspect that his Core Power is better than meets the eye, and that it was Indecisiveness, brought on by too many Positional Changes, that left Ogbuehi occasionally lost, out there, and led to more Blow Ups than a simple matter of deficient Anchoring Strength. In any case, he certainly needs a bit of beefing up, but I believe that when the dust settles, we'll likely find that he has ample Anchoring Strength, together with that phenomenal Fluidity, to compete and perhaps to dominate at the next level.
He entered this Year as a Top 10 Pick with most, and Top 3 with some...
But after experiencing Growing Pains during'is 1st Campaign on the Blind Side, his Stock's tumbled a bit.
Well, not with me. I believe that Growing Pains is all it was. Most Left Tackles, even the elite Talents, struggle during their first Season on the Blind Side, and Ogbuehi was no different. I believe that his Stock's tumble has been precipitated by nothing more than Evaluators failing to make allowance for that, and I believe that his exceptionally strong finish against Louisiana State in general and Danielle Hunter in particular go a long way towards proving my point.
Cedric Ogbuehi brings phenomenal Agility, underrated Core Power, and a tremendous Frame for Left Tackle to the Field of Battle. I believe he will take time to acclimate at the next level, but while I readily concede that there's risk in such a raw Prospect, I am here to say that the concerns have been greatly exaggerated and that his Potential is immense.
* I will append, though, Upon Further Review, that the composite Injury History of young Ogbuehi gives me enough Paws that I feel it appropriate to Adjust For Risk and dial back his Grade & Rank a Click: To Beast & 1st/2nd Rounder.
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!!