Wolf ~ Grady Jarrett ~ Clemson Tigers
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Wolves ~ Wolves are the smaller, faster Defensive Tackles. Whereas Grizzlies will generally be counted on to command Double Teams and stop the Inside Run, Wolves will usually be asked to penetrate the Pocket and disrupt, especially against the Pass. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6015/300 or less, and they're getting smaller.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Wolves may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Wolves, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 against the Run.
* Drive Power in the Pass Rush.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Tremendous. Excellent Launch Velocity, exceptional Fluidity, and terrific Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Exceptional. Excellent Mechanics and terrific Persistence.
Intangibles: Excellent. Tremendous Field Vision and an exceptional Motor.
Run Defense: Exceptional. Jarrett is Impressively Stout at the Point of Attack, thanks to his remarkable Core Power and his terrific Combat Skills, disruptive in the BackField because of that excellent Launch Velocity, and tremendous In Pursuit because of his exceptional Fluidity, his tremendous Field Vision, and that tremendous Acceleration.
Pass Rush: Excellent, regardless of what his Statistics say. Jarrett's excellent Launch Velocity and Combat Skills render'm a Threat on every Snap, but what makes'm genuinely dangerous, I believe, is that unlike most Interior Speed Rushers, Jarrett brings a formidable level of Power to Combat, and his exceptional Fluidity enables'm to change up Tactics instantaneously, transitioning from Speed to Power or Power to Speed in the blink of an eye!!
Conversely, Human Nature is alike loathe to get excited about those who fail to produce Gaudy Statistics or at least Gaudy Power & Agility Numbers ~ Grady Jarrett, Ladies & Laddies!! ~ whose Stocks suffer the inevitable Results.
When you Roll The Tape, though, Grady Jarrett is awfully impressive.
As a Run Defender at the Point of Attack, his remarkable Power obviates what is usually a Liability with Wolf Tackles, who are generally far better at Speed than at Power, and thus easy Targets for Running Games. Not Jarrett.
And as a Run Defender In Pursuit, he is exceptional, for his Processing Speed is outstanding, his Fluidity is remarkable, and his Acceleration is excellent. And his terrific Launch Velocity allows'm to frequently disrupt in the BackField.
As a Pass Rusher ~ when he is in fact tasked to do so ~ Jarrett brings a formidable Fusion of Launch Velocity, Fluidity, and remarkable Power, and he has excellent Combat Skills, as well: He knows what to do with these Tools. What makes him genuinely dangerous, as I noted above, is that balanced and developed combination of Power and Speed, because it enables'm to change up Tactics instantaneously, transitioning from Speed to Power or back in the blink of an eye!!
Perhaps best of all, though, is Jarrett's Field Vision, presumably guided from his earlier Years by his Father, the perennial All Pro Jessie Tuggle, and a close family friend by the name of Ray Lewis: Jarrett plays with a Command of the Tactical LandScape that is extremely impressive, and he's already able to accept complex, conditional Responsibilities and implement dramatically divergent Responses, depending on what the Offense does at the Snap.
He seems to me to be a remarkably well-rounded Prospect, bringing exceptional Agility and Speed, remarkable Power, an impressively developed Game with the Potential to make an Impact both in Run Defense and Pass Defense, and the natural Field Vision, Processing Speed, and Motor not only to make the most of his considerable skills and in a complicated, complex System, if needs be, but to develop rapidly into a Leader on the Field of Battle.
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!!