Offensive Guard ~ Erik Magnuson ~ Michigan Wolverines ~ 6045/304
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 Offensive Guards:
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: Lateral 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: Mediocre. Magnuson generally Anchors sufficiently in Pass Protection, but doesn't generate much Drive in the Running Game, frequently getting stood up and sometimes getting driven back into'is Runner.
Agility: Marginal. Mediocre Launch Velocity into'is Stance, mediocre Acceleration to the Flanks or DownField in the Running Game, and marginal Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to redirect in the Open Field.
Frame: Effective. He's a very good Height for optimal Vertical Leverage, and his WingSpan appears sufficient.
Combat Skills: Effective. Magnuson seems to exhibit sufficient Command of Lateral Leverage, consistently striving to get Square or better with his Foes. His Paw Positioning is effective, usually aimed at the Core and not the Perimeter his Opponent's Frame. And both his Paw Persistence and FootWork are consistently effective, as well.
Processing Speed: Mediocre. Magnuson's Speed & Efficacy in Reading and Reacting to Defensive Deception in Pass Protection is sound, but in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game is decidedly slow.
Motor: Adequate. Not a raging Ball of Fire, but steady, and with sufficient Stamina.
Run Blocking: Marginal. Magnuson's Value in the Running Game, to these eyes, seems to be hobbled by a cataclysmic combination of Liabilities. His lack of Drive Power renders him a Liability at The Point of Attack, and his deficient Processing Speed and marginal Fluidity cripples his capacity to make an Impact Behind Enemy Lines.
Pass Blocking: Mediocre. Magnuson's marginal Fluidity to Mirror is a big Red Flag, but his Anchoring Power and Processing Speed are adequate in the Passing Game. He's got a Chance to compete.
* Update: Changing his Position, based on his Height being much shorter than it appeared to be, and on his WingSpan being far too short for'm to play Offensive Tackle, but my general Impression is unchanged.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!
4th ~ 6th Round
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!