Offensive Tackle ~ Ereck Flowers ~ Miami Hurricanes ~ 6063/330
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: Competitive. Mediocre Fluidity, but outstanding Launch Velocity and excellent Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Mediocre, but with exceptional Potential. Adequate Paw Power, but it could develop dramatically, because his Torso Power is outstanding. Impressive Paw Speed, but awful Paw Positioning: Raw.
Intangibles: Extraordinary. Flowers displays impressive and improving Diagnostic Velocity when the Bullets are flying, and an absolutely outstanding Motor: It's truly remarkable to see a 320 pound man flying all over the Field.
Run Blocking: Outstanding. Flowers was born to Run Block, combining outstanding Drive Power with excellent Acceleration. He'd unquestionably be best in a Power Blocking Scheme, and as a Right Tackle.
Pass Blocking: Mediocre. Only adequate Anchoring Strength and mediocre Fluidity, combined with raw Combat Skills.
His greatest Strength ~ indeed: his Calling ~ is as a potentially dominant Road Grader in the Running Game. I believe that he's got genuine All Pro Potential there at either Right Guard or Right Tackle, preferably in a Power Blocking Scheme.
And he could manage Left Guard or even Left Tackle, too, but they wouldn't be optimal.
Whichever way it goes, and wherever he plays, I believe that he'll maximize his Potential and make an enormous, positive Impact on his Team. He is by all Accounts a voracious Worker and an intelligent kid, fueled by a genuine Love for The Game, who's willing to Do The Work, as evidenced by improved Mechanics throughout the latter course of the 2014 Campaign, as well as outstanding Field Vision. Drive + Talent + Intelligence = Spectacular Trajectory!!
For that reason, I am confident that his Pass Blocking, which I currently consider a Liability, will improve considerably in the Years to come ~ and sooner, rather than later. However, I believe that I overrated his Pass Blocking, previously, and will consequently be easing up 1 Click on my Grade & Rank for'm. But I am an enormous Fan of this kid!!
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!!