Offensive Tackle ~ Daniel Skipper ~ Arkansas RazorBacks ~ 6096/308
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 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: Marginal. Impressive Torso Power but deficient Core Power, exacerbated by his towering Height, which saddles'm with a gigantic Leverage Liability, playing against Opponents whose Frames are far, far more compact.
* Update: Horrible. Yeah, it's really deficient, and that colossal Leverage Liability exacerbates it something awful.
Agility: Mediocre. Adequate Launch Velocity out'f'is Stance, and exceptional Acceleration to the Flanks and DownField in the Running Game, but marginal Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to redirect in the Open Field.
* Update: Marginal. That Height hampers his Fluidity far too much.
Frame: Horrific. I've no doubt that he's an huge Hit with the Ladies, mind you, and far more so than my sorry Ass, but for FootBall, Skipper's Height imposes an enormous Leverage Liability, enabling far shorter, more compact Foes to routinely get up under his Pads, while his shockingly diminutive WingSpan means that he'll rarely initiate Combat: He'll almost always get hit first and thus harder by lengthier Opponents, which will of course exacerbate his Height Liability.
Combat Skills: Tremendous. A strong Command of Lateral Leverage. Despite marginal Fluidity to Mirror, Skipper usually managed to get square or better with his Opponent. His Paw Positioning was outstanding, consistently hitting his Opponent's Core, not his Perimeter, and his Paw Persistence and FootWork were excellent.
Processing Speed: Impressive. Skipper's Speed & Efficacy in Reading and Reacting to Defensive Deception in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game were usually very adept.
Motor: Sensational. Incredible Motor. Phenomenal Stamina. I watched the RazorBacks get slaughtered, 56-3, by Auburn, and on the Road, yet Skipper was flying around, looking for Combat, to the very last whistle.
Run Blocking: Impressive. Skipper's mediocre at the Point of Attack, hindered both by Core Power, his Leverage Liability which exacerbates that, and his shorter WingSpan, but his exceptional Acceleration to the Flanks and DownField, his impressive Field Vision, his tremendous Combat Skills in navigating Traffic, and above all his ferocious and simply relentless Motor, translate into an Impact Player, one who'll wreak all sorts of Havoc, Behind Enemy Lines.
* Update: Mediocre. His lack of Functional Power is just too much for'm to be anything but a Liability at The Point of Attack.
Pass Blocking: Marginal. Skipper's hampered by every possible physical Liability in Pass Protection: Power, Fluidity, Arms, WingSpan, and Height. Even so, he oozes Intangibles, and his Opponents will have to earn everything.
Daniel Skipper exhibits every physical Liability that I can imagine for an Offensive Tackle: He's too tall, he lacks Core Power, he lacks Core Agility ~ Fluidity ~ and despite that towering Height, he's got a narrow WingSpan!!
So as imposing as he looks coming off the bus, I won't be grading'm very high.
Even so, I gotta tell you that I'm crazy about this kid.
I don't mind telling you that when I read his approximated Measurements, and then popped in The Tape ~ so to speak ~ I fully expected to see some towering Oaf, lumbering around like FrankenStein, bullying here and there when he got the Chance, but generally cruising on his Height and exhibiting raw Combat Skills, sluggish Processing Speed, and a mediocre or marginal Motor, as is often the case when with such imposing Towers, I'm sorry to say...
My God, was I wrong.
Daniel Skipper's Game makes it crystal clear that he loves this Great Game and has been working his Ass off for Years to become all that he can be. His Combat Skills and Field Vision make that evident, yes, but above all it's his intense, passionate Play, his relentless Attention To Detail, and his ceaseless Ferocity that exhibit that.
I absolutely love watching this Kid play.
Top 10 Intelligence & Drive.
I hope he makes it.
And I believe that he will.
* Update: I might've gotten carried away, before!!
The Market and I both had'm at 4th/5th Round, a few months ago.
Yeah, much as I like Skipper, I'm gonna back this off a couple Clicks: There's only so much that Drive and Intelligence is likely to do for you when you're miles too high and your WingSpan is miles too short!!
I still give'm a fighting Chance based on those Intangibles, though.
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!!