Alabama Crimson Tide ~ 6012/208
I can no longer abide the application of the pathetically weak and flaccid term "Safety" to Gladiators.
It is struck from my Vocabulary.
The erstwhile "Free Safety" is truly the CenterFielder of the Defense. Honestly, I consider the term absolutely perfect.
And the erstwhile "Strong Safety", playing an increasingly hybrid Role and constantly improvising, is a RoverBack, I think.
When analyzing the Merits of a prospective CenterFielder, this is how I personally break things down:
Intangibles: Diagnostic Acuity, Field Vision, and, above all: Processing Speed. And of course: Motor. Motor Matters.
Agility: Acceleration, Fluidity, and Closing Speed. And of course: Verticity!! Turning & Burning in Direct Coverage.
Pass Prevention: Timing, Vertical Burst, WingSpan, and don't forget the Brutality!!
Run Support: Appetite, Tactical Discipline, and Combat Skills ~ working through Traffic & Tackling Mechanics.
Agility: Exceptional. Neither his Acceleration or Closing Speed is quite what I'd call explosive, when he breaks towards the Play, but they are both superior, and his Fluidity in redirecting is tremendous, the combination of which provides for excellent Range from the Deep Middle. And his Verticity in Direct Coverage is very adept.
Pass Prevention: Superior. Good Timing, reasonable Vertical Agility, and a tremendous WingSpan. Moderate Brutality.
Run Support: Very adept. Superior command of Spatial Diagnostics and Timing, exhibits proficient Combat Skills in navigating Traffic consistently well, and Tackles soundly. All Rovers & CenterFielders are evidently required by both State and National Law to occasionally lose their minds, stampeding towards the Play without a thought for the Gaping Hole they've left behind, and Dix is in compliance with that Law...But he is usually pretty disciplined. You can trust him.
He projects to be a tremendous Anchor in the Deep Middle, solid and reliable in Run Support, and more than adept in Direct Coverage. I really don't place much emphasis on "Ball Skills" ~ I'm far more interested in Defenders that shut Opponents down ~ but it certainly doesn't hurt that he's an extraordinary PlayMaker.
Sign me up.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value