Bandit ~ Kamalei Correa ~ Boise State Broncos
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:
Bandits ~ This is my term, derived from Defensive Schemes, for Players with the WingSpan for the Defensive Line yet who, unlike Dragons, lack the Size to play there regularly, because they can't be expected to Anchor against the Run.
They are thus the right Size though a bit tall to play MidFielder and can generally do so, but I believe are optimally employed as Wild Cards, deployed all over the Formation from Snap to Snap, usually in the murky, shifty region between the Defensive Line and the MidFielders, usually standing up, and generally giving no clue as to their Intentions.
I believe that the Bandit, whatever he's called in a given Formation, stands at the very EpiCenter of the disruptive Changes that Defensive Formations are undergoing today. Their unique combination of Size & Speed offers precisely that Wild Card Variable that I believe is potentially priceless for Defenses to compete and indeed to excel in the incessantly and rapidly evolving Strategic LandScape of the 21st Century. The Prototype would be around 6030/245 or so, I'd say.
As the ultimate Defensive Hybrid, Bandits could quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Blitz the Run, or Drop into Coverage on any given play, and from virtually any alignment on the Line or in the BackField. They won't anchor against the Run very effectively, they won't overwhelm with Power in their Pass Rush, and they're not built to Turn & Burn with WideOuts in Coverage, but they are in fact optimally built to conceivably compete effectively in all three Facets of the Game.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Bandits 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 Bandits, 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, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
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
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
Agility: Extraordinary. Tremendous Launch Velocity and Closing Speed. Outstanding Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Marginal. Poor Mechanics and a light Pass Rush Repertoire. His WingSpan is on the short side, as well.
Intangibles: Impressive, with excellent Potential. His Field Vision is mediocre, but his Motor is magnificent.
Run Defense: Impressive, with tremendous Potential. He needs a lot of Work on his Combat Skills, so he's got a ways to go in navigating Traffic, and his Field Vision likewise needs plenty of Development. But there's absolutely not question that he'll Do The Work, and with a flat out awesome Motor and an extraordinary combination of Fluidity and Speed, he could develop terrific Range and transform into an enormous Impact Player, because he's a ferocious if somewhat raw Tackler...And he's already stout at The Point of Attack and projects to become exceptional.
Pass Coverage: Competitive, and with excellent Potential. His Field Vision of course needs Work, but with his Fluidity and Speed, he has the Potential to develop into a terrific Defender in Zone and even in Man Coverage.
Pass Rush: Competitive and with extraordinary Potential. Mind you, he's gonna need to develop a deeper Arsenal of Pass Rush Weapons, and he's gonna need to continue to work on mixing and matching them. Yeah, he's raw. But he brings impressive Power and amazing Speed and Fluidity to the Field of Battle. His Potential is immense.
And of course Potential is implicit in every Aspect of any Scouting Report: When I describe a give a Prospect a SuperBeast Rank, for instance, I'm only suggesting his Potential to become a SuperBeast level Player.
But with some Prospects ~ the raw ones like Kamalei Correa ~ Potential is a far more crucial part of the Equation.
My Trajectory Formula ~ Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential (Potential/Risk, in fact) ~ speaks to FootBall Intelligence in particular, with Processing Speed ~ Read & React Velocity on the Field of Battle ~ being how I gauge its Manifestation.
Therefore, Correa's mediocre Field Vision ~ which is pretty much synonymous with Processing Speed ~ gives me Cause for Pause. The Gutters are littered with the Corpses of Talented Athletes who never developed the Field Vision to unleash their Talent on the BattleField, and Correa manifests not only mediocre Processing Speed but mediocre Combat Skills, which casts further Doubt on his mental FootBall Acumen. And in most cases, his Drive would alike be cast in Doubt.
However, the kids has an undeniably relentless Motor, and his Field Vision seemed to improve over the course of the 2015 Season. I have no Doubt at all about his Drive, and consequently, have far less concern about the other Aspects of his Game than I otherwise would: I am very confident that Kamalei Correa will continue to apply himself intensely and passionately to every Aspect of his Game, and will eventually develop far better Field Vision and Combat Skills.
It's a Risk, but everything is, of course, and as Bets go I consider him a strong one.
And if I'm right, the end result will be a stout Run Defender at the Point of Attack with extraordinary Range who flies all over the Field and fires up his Team, an excellent Pass Defender not only in Zone but in Man Coverage, and a terrifying Pass Rusher: A well rounded Warrior who excels in every Aspect of the Game and who can play on any Down.
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!!