Offensive Tackle ~ Jake Fisher ~ Oregon Ducks 6060/306
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 Tackles:
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 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 Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, 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.
* 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. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Phenomenal. Tremendous Launch Velocity, extraordinary Acceleration, and magnificent Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Exceptional. Impressive Mechanics and excellent Persistence.
Intangibles: Exceptional. Excellent Field Vision and impressive Motor.
Run Blocking: Competitive in a Power Scheme and extraordinary in Zone. Fisher's stationary Drive Power is marginal, but is far more effective on the move, and he can cover an incredible amount of turf in a very short time.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional, with tremendous Potential. Magnificent Fluidity and exceptional Combat Skills. It is of course that mediocre Core Power that's holding'm back. If he can develop that further, he could be terrific.
This is of course tremendous news for Fisher's Stock, for there are few Positions where Top Shelf Talent is more valuable yet less plentiful than Left Tackle. It is of course less crucial for a Left Tackle's Skill Set to be optimized for Power than it would be for a Right Tackle, so he'd be perfectly fine there, as Tyron Smith is for the CowBoys, for instance.
But the best Bang For Your Buck would of course be in a Zone Blocking Scheme.
Fisher doesn't have the WingSpan I'd like to see, nor the Core Power, and for those reasons I stop short of laying a Top 10 Grade on'm...But I'm also keeping in mind that he's a former Tight End from a Speed Offense in Oregon who's still developing his Frame...And did I mention that his Agility is flat out sensational??? I'd risk a bet on'm.
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!!