Offensive Tackle ~ Germain Ifedi ~ Texas Agricultural & Mechanical Aggies ~ 6056/324
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: Tremendous. Excellent Launch Velocity, exceptional Acceleration, and extraordinary Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Deficient. Outstanding long Arms, enormous Hands, and an awesome WingSpan, but awful Mechanics.
Intangibles: Adept Processing Speed and a steady Motor.
Run Blocking: He has tremendous Potential in a Zone Blocking Scheme, if he can develop those Combat Skills.
Pass Blocking: And he has extraordinary Potential as a Pass Protector, with that phenomenal combination of WingSpan and Agility, but also more Risk, as his mediocre Core Power will be exacerbated by his shaky Combat Skills.
They aren't growing on Trees, Bitches!!
Sorry. That wasn't addressed to you, of course, my Fellow FootBall Fiends.
Every once in a while, my Inner Rick James possesses me.
I suppose the line of thinking is the ancient tendency to kick Offensive Tackles inside if they can't cut it at Tackle, as Ifedi himself did in fact struggle at Left Tackle last Autumn...But the reason that the concept works in the first place, I believe, is because Guards are responsible for smaller areas than Tackles, and Tackles flop at Tackle usually because they lack enough ability to cover a larger area, this attributable to a combination of Agility and WingSpan.
But as those are in fact Germain Ifedi's best Attributes, moving him to Guard would be preposterous.
Ifedi does need a lot of Work, though, and his lack of technical development to this point ~ his sloppy, inconsistent Mechanics ~ suggest that there's substantial Risk, here. It's one thing to be inhibited by mediocre Core Power, as he seems to be. But compounding that Liability with lousy Mechanics could prove disastrous.
But if Ifedi puts in enough Time & Training, his potential is immense, because an Offensive Tackle Prospect with that level of Agility within a Frame with that beautiful, sprawling WingSpan is exquisitely rare.
This is a very risky Prospect, I think, with an unusually high Possibility of Failure, but with spectacular Potential.
All things considered, I believe that The Market has it right.
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!!