Offensive Tackle ~ Fahn Cooper ~ Ole Mississippi
Rebels ~ 6044/304
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 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.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* 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: Marginal. Mediocre Launch Velocity and Acceleration and marginal Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Marginal, which is shocking in a Prospect of Cooper's Experience and Pedigree. But despite an exceptional WingSpan and excellent Arms, he exhibits impressive Persistence but poor Paw Positioning and FootWork.
Intangibles: Mediocre. An impressive Motor, but stunningly deficient Field Vision and Processing Speed.
Run Blocking: It looks like a long shot for'm to become effective in either Power or Zone, to me.
Pass Blocking: Hear, at least, his terrific Frame provides some Potential.
I just don't think that we're talking about a great deal of Talent, here, and my Expectations for his Career are further affected by my perception that both his Combat Skills and Field Vision are stunningly raw at this point.
As I see it, Cooper's Stock got driven well beyond its Intrinsic Value by a combination of his School's ascending Pedigree, his having stepped in for Tunsil, who at one point was projected by many to go #01 in this Year's Draft, and by his statuesque Frame, which is tremendously well suited to play Offensive Tackle at the next level.
It seems to me that what we're looking at is an excellent Frame and a strong Motor and a few random scraps of Talent. Of course we're talking about The Trenches, and long Careers have been forged on precisely that.
But those Success Stories tend to be accompanied by relentless Drive and explosive FootBall Intelligence, and while Cooper's Drive certainly seems sufficient to succeed, both it and his FootBall Intelligence are called into grave Doubt, in my perception of things, by his raw Combat Skills and Field Vision, both of which I consider Red Flags.
I consider'm a Long Shot.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!