CenterFielder ~ Ifo Ekpre Olomu ~ Oregon Ducks ~ 5090/192
CenterFielders ~ This is my term for "Free Safeties", as I find the application of the term "Safety" ~ a limp, lame term, to put it kindly ~ to be an Asinine Appellation for a Gladiator. The Prototype would be about 6000/200 or so.
CenterFielders are indeed the Last Line of Defense. But I sense that with the increasing Hybridization of Skill Sets in the Years to come, it will be advantageous for Teams to seek CenterFielders who can not only act as a Reserve Defender in Support of their CornerBacks, but who can ~ at a moment's notice, if need be ~ flip into Direct Coverage.
As such, I have discovered a natural Synergy between the Skill Sets of CenterFielders...and NickelBacks.
CenterFielders, like RoverBacks and Gryphons, are Hybrids, tasked both with Pass Coverage and Run Defense. Unlike Rovers and Gryphons, however, CenterFielders are expected to prioritize Pass Defense. As such, I'll be breaking my Evaluations down along the same lines as with the others, but with a decidedly divergent Emphasis:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Tremendous with Potential for Greatness: He's a First Class Student of this Great Game.
Run Defense: Extraordinary. Short but Strong, Olomu is a ferocious and Powerful Run Defender, and one who employs his outstanding Field Vision, tremendous Closing Speed, and excellent Combat Skills to Great Advantage.
Pass Coverage: I am projecting Olomu, like all NickelBacks, to the role of Part Time CenterFielder, where I believe that his phenomenal combination of Fluidity, Speed, and Field Vision will translate, with Time & Training, into a potentially extraordinary CenterFielder, and a potentially dominant NickelBack, whether in Press, Off, or Zone.
But to drop to the 4th/5th Round Range before the Draft, and to ultimately slide deep into the 7th???
Psychology is an enormous Aspect of my Approach to Scouting Reports, and I strongly suspect that Olomu, who'd publicly expressed Doubt about his own Decision to stay in School last Year rather'n enter the Draft, went into this past Season ambiguous about his Decision, and worried about blowing what'd already been described as 1st Round Stock.
We've perhaps seen such Doubts play out before ~ the Realization of Prospective Gladiators that Millions of Dollars and their entire Futures were at stake ~ and the Career Paths of Jadaveon Clowney and Quinton Coples ~ so far ~ don't exactly inspire Unfettered Certainty that Maverick will always simply chalk it up to Personal Growth, shake it off, and Rejoin the Battle with his former Confidence and Capacity to Wreak Havoc and Make Merry Mayhem fully restored.
Olomu was only sporadically his Old Self, this past Year. I would never expect'm to admit it out loud, but I believe that he did regret not entering the Draft in 2014, suddenly woke up to the enormous Risk that he'd taken, and consequently played 2014 with infinitely more Fear and Caution than ever before. As the Season drew on, there was increasing Chatter regarding his being considerably less effective and supposedly less Athletic and Instinctive than before.
But I believe that we were just seeing a man Distracted by the Realization of the Stakes in play.
And, no: I do not have a Degree in Psychology.
I believe that the Ifo Ekpre Olomu we saw in 2013 is the Real Version, and if the Team that gets'm is smart enough to allow him to take his Time, heal correctly and fully, and employ 2015 as a RedShirt Year ~ which would in turn allow them to Defer the Year and get 4 Full Rookie Contract Years out'f'm ~ I believe that that Version is what they'll get.
And that Version, Ladies & Laddies, is a full-fledged Potential SuperStar.
Olomu's Timing & Trajectory and Vertical Agility at the CatchPoint is so extraordinary, his Frame so deceptively Powerful, and his Combat Skills so extraordinarily Advanced, that he could start as a Boundary Corner and excel.
But as a 21st Century CenterFielder ~ as a Yankee Defense CenterFielder, Patent Pending, baby, because I'm the only one that I know of who's selling this Version!! ~ Olomu's Game would be utterly unshackled.
On Running Downs and Ambiguous Downs, he'd roam CenterField, applying his incredible Fusion of Field Vision, Fluidity, and Speed to Rapidly React & React to the Tactical LandScape, fly towards the Play, either disrupt or destroy scores of Passing Attempts, or stampede DownHill and obliterate Runners ~ a reliable and violent Last Line of Defense.
And on Passing Downs, whether in Zone or Man and whether in Press or Bail & Trail, Olomu has the extraordinary Fluidity, Speed, and Instincts to produce that rare but genuine Shut Down Corner Potential.
I am astonished that his Stock slid as far as it did, for I believe that Ifo Ekpre Olomu, who is by all accounts an incredibly intense and maniacally Driven Student of the Game who busts his Ass both on and off the Field and is also acknowledged, far and wide, to be an Inspiration and Natural Leader, has the Potential for Greatness.
And I believe, furthermore, that his Drive, his Intelligence ~ as evidenced by his extraordinary Processing Speed and Field Vision, and his Fluidity, his Speed, and even his Power are all Top Shelf: An Harmonic Convergence.
"Trajectory > A mercurial Formula that blends Talent, Speed of Improvement, and the Probability of continuing that Speed of Improvement, based on perceived Intelligence, Passion, and Work Ethic: Talent x Intelligence x Drive."
Ifo Ekpre Olomu, Ladies & Laddies.
Name your Price.
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!!