Offensive Guard ~ Daniel Feeney ~ Indiana Hoosiers ~ 6040/304
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 Centers:
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.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* 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.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Exceptional, and proportioned evenly throughout his Torso and Core. He's been very smart in the Weight Room. He Anchors against the Pass Rush and Drives in the Running Game equally well.
Update: Mediocre. Yeah, additional Tape has changed my Mind: Exceptional Torso Power but marginal Core Power.
Agility: Mediocre. Sufficient Launch Velocity into'is Set or DownField, but Marginal Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to change Direction in the Open Field. Adequate Acceleration to the Flanks or Second Level in the Running Game.
Frame: Excellent. Optimal Height for Vertical Leverage and what looks like an excellent WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Impressive, and indeed potentially Tremendous. He exhibits an impressive Command of Lateral Leverage, consistently working to get Square or better with his Target, his Paw Persistence is Good, and his FootWork is excellent. His Paw Positioning, however, is mediocre and undermines the rest'f'is Game. Both against the Trojans and BuckEyes in 2015 and against the Florida InterNational Golden Panthers in 2016, he exhibited a tendency to positions his Paw on the outside of'is Foes's Frame, leading to a lot of clutching and grabbing. However, he is very clearly an Hard Worker and an intelligent one, so it's really just a matter of Time, Training, and Top Shelf Coaching.
Update: Outstanding. Indeed, there's a fine line between all Aspects of a Prospect's Game ~ Power, Agility, and his Combat Skills ~ and it ain't easy to discern what one's actually seeing. Additional Tape made it clear that Feeney's Combat Skills are so damned good that he was successfully compensating for mediocre Power as well as mediocre Agility!!
Processing Speed: Phenomenal. Outstanding Speed & Efficacy in reading and reacting to Schemes and Stunts in Pass Protection, and equally so in quickly finding and effectively approaching Targets in the Running Game.
Update: Unchanged. Phenomenal.
Motor: Awesome. Outstanding Effort and outstanding Duration.
Update: Unchanged. Awesome.
Run Blocking: Excellent. Definitely best suited for a Power Scheme Team, Feeney doesn't look to be as effective in Space or therefore on Sweeps and Traps due to Marginal Fluidity and only competitive Acceleration, but his extraordinary Processing Speed and Field Vision should allow'm to be Effective on such Plays, and if he manages to develop his Combat Skills to the level that I fully expect'm to, he could become flat out dominant at The Point of Attack.
Update: Impressive. And he projects better on a Zone Scheme Team, not Power.
Pass Blocking: Competitive, and potentially Exceptional. Despite Marginal Fluidity to Mirror and merely Impressive Combat Skills, Feeney had allowed only 1 freaking Sack in 2719 Snaps, going into 2016. That, I believe, is attributable to his Intelligence, his Motor, and to his terrific WingSpan. If he develops the Combat Skills, watch out.
Update: Impressive, despite mediocre physical skills.
Yeah. I clearly love this Kid. Daniel Feeney is my kind of FootBall Player. I make no bones about my Affinity for Trench Warriors and for Offensive Guards in particular, and Feeney is a died in the wool Beast.
What's awesome about'm is that, in Caveman Talk, he's Smart and he's Strong...and he is Driven.
Nobody develops that level of Processing Speed without putting in Years of intensive Time & Training & Tape Study.
His Command of Schemes and Stunts is evidently good enough to play Center, but to do so at an extremely high level...Not that I would recommend that, as his Frame is perfect for Offensive Guard...But having his Wisdom in the Locker Room, in Practice, and both before and after the Snap on The Field of Battle adds immeasurably to his Value.
He doesn't appear to be the most serpentine guy in the World ~ I've only watched two Tapes ~ so we're not talking about an Ace Pass Protector...yet...But an excellent WingSpan neutralize many Faults, and the Drive and Intelligence that Feeney clearly possesses, as evidenced by his phenomenal Processing Speed and magnificent Motor...
In Short, I see the Potential for Daniel Feeney to develop into a Top Shelf Power Run Blocker and an excellent Pass Blocker...and I see an extremely high Probability of his fulfilling his outstanding Potential.
Update: Having acquired a far less lofty opinion of Feeney's Power, in combination with an already middling opinion of his Agility, I'm gonna walk this back a few Clicks from the lofty Top 10. And if I were grading'm only on Power, Agility, and his Frame, I'd go with an Auxiliary Rank and a 6th/7th Round Grade ~ Borderline UFA, with his Concussion History.
But Daniel Feeney's Intangibles ~ his Intelligence & Drive ~ are Elite, which goes a long way in any Aspect of FootBall, but especially in The Trenches. He'll bring Leadership to the Locker Room, and to the Offensive Line. Feeney seems to me like a Classic Case of a Warrior who's got a damned good Chance of forging a Career far more successful than his natural Skills would warrant on their own, doing so on Intelligence, Drive...and A Few Scraps of Talent!!
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!!