CenterFielder ~ D'Joun Smith ~ Florida Atlantic Owls ~ 5100/187
CenterFielders are indeed the Last Line of Defense. But I sense that with the increasing Hybridization of Skill Sets in the Years to come, it will be advantageous for Teams to seek CenterFielders who can not only act as a Reserve Defender in Support of their CornerBacks, but who can ~ at a moment's notice, if need be ~ flip into Direct Coverage.
As such, I have discovered a natural Synergy between the Skill Sets of CenterFielders...and NickleBacks.
CenterFielders, like RoverBacks and Gryphons, are Hybrids, tasked both with Pass Coverage and Run Defense. Unlike Rovers and Gryphons, however, CenterFielders are expected to prioritize Pass Defense. As such, I'll be breaking my Evaluations down along the same lines as with the others, but with a decidedly divergent Emphasis:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Outstanding. Tremendous Field Vision, Processing Speed, and Tracking & Timing Talent.
Run Defense: Competitive and potentially Exceptional. He'd need to add a solid 10 Pounds of Beef to effect the Transition that I'm proposing, but he could become a remarkable and even outstanding Run Defender if he does so, because his Field Vision and Agility give'm excellent Range, and he's a surprisingly violent Tackler with solid Mechanics.
Pass Coverage: Exceptional and potentially Tremendous. As a CenterFielder, Smith's Field Vision and Agility make him a Natural Last Line of Defense, and as a NickelBack who'd usually be deployed in Direct Coverage against FlexWings, SlotBacks, and SpeedBacks ~ the Spry Flies ~ the Match Up plays right into Smith's WheelHouse.
As a Corner, I believe that he'd be great against Speed, but that he'd always have issues against Power and Size.
But as a 21st Century CenterFielder, Yankee Version, he'd play CenterFielder on Running Downs and on Ambiguous Downs, applying his tremendous Field Vision, outstanding Agility, and startlingly Tough Run Defense to patrol CenterField...and on obvious Passing Downs, he'd drop down and mirror the Foe's Spry Flies!!
And in the 21st Century, Ladies and Laddies, The Sub Package Is The New Base.
He'd spend half his Snaps or more going toe to toe with the Spry Flies ~ SlotBacks, FlexWings, and SpeedBacks ~ that the other Team Flexes Out on Passing Downs and that he happens to match up perfectly against.
And on the other Snaps, his Bad Matchups with towering Split Ends would be kept to a minimum.
In other words: As a 21st Century Hybrid CenterFielder, he'd be playing to his Strengths on virtually every Down.
And his Strengths, need I say, are considerable.
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!!