Offensive Guard ~ Kyle Kalis ~ Michigan Wolverines ~ 6040/304
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 Guards:
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 lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Impressive. Impressive Core Power. Impressive Torso Power.
Agility: Effective. Adequate Launch Velocity into'is Stance in Pass Protection and into'is Surge in the Running Game. Adequate Fluidity to Mirror or change directions. Impressive Acceleration to the Flanks and DownField.
There was one Play, early in the 2016 Game against the Wisconsin Badgers, where Kalil leaped over one'f'is fallen TeamMates...and then leaped over another!! Pretty impressive for a 300 Pounder!!
Frame: Marginal. He's got the Right Height for good Vertical Leverage, but his WingSpan looks pretty short to me, though as always I'll reserve the Right to shamelessly change my Mind if his Combine Measurements say so!!
Combat Skills: Mediocre. Kalis seems to possess a mediocre Command of Lateral Leverage, as he doesn't consistently get Square or better with his Foe. His Paw Persistence and FootWork are effective, but I have to say that his Paw Positioning is marginal, as I routinely saw'm hitting not the Frame but the Perimeter of his Opponent.
Of course a lot of his Paw Positioning Problems could because of that WingSpan of his.
Processing Speed: Marginal. Kalis's Speed & Efficacy both in Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes and Stunts in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game leave much to be desired. There were stunning Failures in some cases: Again in the Badger Battle, there was one Running Play where 2 LineMates were blocking an Opponent, yet Kalis joined in, thus allowing a Badger to run right by'm and make the Tackle. And shortly thereafter, there was another Running Play where he ran DownField blissfully while 2 Badgers ran right by'm and converged on the Runner. This was thematic against Penn State and Illinois, too: Any time that Kalis needed to instantaneously read the Tactical LandScape and react to it, Failure was all too often the result.
Motor: Excellent. Terrific Motor. Exceptional Endurance.
Run Blocking: I'm gonna go with Competitive, but he could be awful or he could be excellent. With impressive Power and equally impressive Acceleration, he could develop into a terrific Power Scheme Team Run Blocker, excelling both at The Point of Attack and DownField...But he's got a Ton of Work to do before he gets there, both in his Combat Skills and in developing his Processing Speed and Field Vision, the latter of which are simply awful right now. However, he certainly doesn't lack for Drive, so it's entirely possible that he just hasn't connected with the right Coach, yet.
Pass Blocking: Marginal. His Fluidity to Mirror is decent enough, but his short WingSpan and mediocre Combat Skills render this Aspect of'is Game an huge Liability right now, as does his sluggish Processing Speed.
However, Kalis's evidently sluggish Processing Speed, if my perception is correct, will kill'm ~ and his QuarterBack!! ~ if he doesn't develop it substantially. Fortunately, I write from Experience when I note that Processing Speed can in fact be developed, as my Processing Speed in some regards is uncharacteristically phenomenal.
Despite a short WingSpan, Kyle Kalis possess enough Power and Agility to excel in the Running Game and to survive in Pass Protection, if he manages to develop his Paw Positioning and Processing Speed far beyond their current levels.
That of course is a matter of Time & Training...And it's also a matter of Drive & Intelligence ~ of FootBall Intelligence. I have little Doubt about Kalis's Drive, but lots of Doubt about his capacity to translate what he learns in the ClassRoom into Action on the Field of Battle...and that of course renders'm a classic High Beta Prospect...Or as you Earthlings like to phrase it: Good Ceiling/Bottomless Floor: He could be a Starter or he could be MacDonald's next Recruit!!
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!!