Wolf Tackle ~ Javon Hargave ~ South Carolina State BullDogs ~ 6012/308
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 Wolves, 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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skill
Agility: Exceptional. Excellent Launch Velocity and Acceleration. Impressive Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Excellent Potential, but his Mechanics need a lot of Work and his Repertoire is Raw.
Intangibles: Mediocre. Marginal Field Vision and marginal Conditioning, though an impressive Motor.
Run Defense: I don't expect Run Defense to be a particular Strength of Hargrave's, as neither Core Power nor Field Vision are, either. He should become competitive at The Point of Attack, though, and if he develops his Field Vision with a few Years of Time & Training, he has the Motor and Acceleration to disrupt the BackField and cover some Range.
Pass Rush: He lacks Combat Skills and is burdened by a deficient WingSpan, but Hargrave boasts excellent Torso Power, impressive Fluidity, and excellent Launch Velocity and Closing Speed. If he puts in the Time & Training and develops his Pass Rushing Repertoire, he could and should make an Impact, and perhaps a significant one.
That's no to overstate things, mind you: There is every reason in the World why Hargrave might fail.
He needs a lot of Work.
But while his Field Vision and Conditioning are marginal at this Stage and therefore most definitely play into my Formula. I don't know him personally, of course, and these Factors suggest that he may lack the Drive it takes to invest the Time & Training it takes to succeed...But I like his Motor, and sense that all he really needs is the right Guidance.
It's certainly a calculated Risk, but one I like. Javon Hargrave's Game certainly needs a lot of Work, but if he does indeed invest the Time & Training that it'll take to develop his Combat Skills and Pass Rushing Repertoire, the Chances are awfully good that he'll develop into a competitive Run Defender and a tremendous Pass Rushing Force.
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!!