Yeti Tackle ~ Grover Stewart ~ Albany State Golden Rams ~ 6045/333
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
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 Wolf Tackles, 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 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. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
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 Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Rush: Ditto.
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, Rushing the Passer.
* 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.
* Pass Rush Repertoire: Variety.
* Reading & Reacting to Offensive Blocking Schemes with Speed & Precision.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
Power: Excellent. Exceptional Core Power. Tremendous Torso Power.
Agility: Exceptional. Remarkably quick, fast, and fluid for such a Behemoth.
Frame: Impressive. Solid Arm Length, WingSpan, and Height. Massive Frame.
Combat Skills: Awful. Paw Positioning, FootWork, and Lateral Leverage are all Raw as Hell.
Processing Speed: Shaky. Often slow to read and react effectively and well.
Motor: Adequate. No complaints, based on'is Tape. Rumors of Weight Issues are a concern, though.
Run Defense: Competitive and potentially sensational. His combination of Power, Agility, and Size is magnificent. It is of course his Combat Skills and Field Vision that need Work for'm to fulfill his Potential.
Pass Rush: Mediocre, but potentially tremendous. I doubt that he'll get many One On Ones at the next level if he develops his Potential, and therefore will likely never rack up many Sacks, but his outstanding Power and Size are adeptly complemented by remarkably smooth Fluidity and startlingly explosive Acceleration, and if he develops his Game well enough to unleash his Potential, he will become a Top Shelf BackField Terror: Pressure = Production.
Grover Stewart is Suchi-Raw, so whether or not he becomes all that he can be is uncertain: His Combat Skills and Field Vision are gonna need a Ton of Time & Training, so it comes down to the usual: Intelligence...and Drive.
But the Latter matters more than the Former, for the Latter can produce the Former, whereas all the Intelligence in the World won't matter if the Player doesn't have the Drive to put in the Tons of Time & Training.
And Tony Pauline ~ one of the very, very best Reporters in the Draft World ~ reports that Stewart sought out none other than Frederick Robbins, the erstwhile stalwart Trench Warrior of Viking and Giant Fame, to develop his Craft before the Draft...and has already had extraordinary Success in developing and refining his Form.
I smell Drive...and I smell Intelligence.
Trajectory: A Philosophical Formula that calculates a Prospect's Potential & Risk, based on perceptions of Talent, Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk.
The last thing that Grover Stewart is, is a Sure Thing, but his extremely rare combination of Power, Size, and Agility give him spectacular Potential as a Run Defending Nightmare and a Pass Rushing Terror...and what ~ admittedly little ~ that I yet know about his Intelligence and Drive speak very positively both about the Chances of his doing the Tons of Work that'll prove necessary to develop his immense Potential...and him being smart enough to apply what he's learned.
...and with deadly Force!!
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!!