Offensive Guard ~ Gregory Pyke ~ Georgia BullDogs ~ 6051/312
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: Horizontal 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: Exceptional, and he exhibits tremendous Core Power and Torso Power. He's got a Belly, though, and both that and his marginal Core Agility significantly inhibit his ability to bring functional Power to bear on the Field of Battle.
Agility: Marginal, in all regards, as Pyke exhibits Sluggish Launch Velocity into'is Set in Pass Protection and into'is Surge in the Running Game, insufficient Fluidity to Mirror effectively in Pass Protection or to change directions quickly in the Running Game, and slow, sluggish Acceleration to the Flanks or DownField, also in the Running Game.
Frame: Marginal. His Height is a bit Tall for Guard, though not egregiously so, but there's no question of his playing Tackle at the next level, due to'is marginal Agility and also to'is WingSpan, which appears short even for Guard.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. His Command of Lateral Leverage is awful, as he routinely fails to get Square, much less better, with his Foes. His Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork all appear competitive, though, as he generally hits his Foes in the Frame, not the Perimeter, and works throughout the Snap to improve his Position.
Processing Speed: Effective. Pyke exhibits Impressive Speed & Efficacy in Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes and Stunts in Pass Protection, though Mediocre Speed & Efficacy at Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game, which is actually perfectly consistent with his horrible Command of Lateral Leverage in The Trenches.
Motor: Effective. Impressive Motor. Mediocre Endurance.
Run Blocking: Competitive, though exclusively in a Power Scheme. If Pyke burns off some Belly and replaces it with a little more Beef, his already Exceptional Power could become dominant at The Point of Attack, and his ability to change directions on the Move could also improve. He'll need to develop his Command of Lateral Leverage.
Pass Blocking: Awful, as his current level of Marginal Fluidity to Mirror, combined with his horrible Command of Lateral Leverage and what I believe to be a short, maybe very short WingSpan, renders'm an enormous Liability.
Gregory Pyke's got some gaping Holes in'is Game, enough so that I wouldn't spend a Draft Pick on'm, but what I would do isn't synonymous with how I Grade & Rank a Prospect, because I'm always looking for Bargains!!
Furthermore, if a General Manager or Head Coach sees a few scraps of Potential in a Prospect ~ and they are certainly there in the case of Gregory Pyke's Power, Processing Speed, and Motor ~ then it's perfectly reasonable ~ and indeed often wise ~ to invest a 6th or 7th Rounder on'm, rather'n bid for'is Services against the other 31 Teams!!
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!!