Gryphon ~ Landon Collins ~ Alabama Crimson Tide ~ 6000/228
The Gryphon would optimally be able to play RoverBack in "Base" Formations, and drop down to MidFielder for Big Nickel.
Gryphons could thus quite conceivably emerge as the Field Generals of the Defense in the Years to come.
When evaluating Gryphons, this is how I break things down:
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, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
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
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Processing Speed: Exceptional and trending nicely upward. Collins clearly has far better developed Processing Speed and Field Vision for Run Defense than for Pass Coverage, but he's just as clearly improving in both regards. I would grade'm as Extraordinary and Competitive, respectfully. He's clearly more an Hybrid than pure Defensive Back.
Run Defense: Phenomenal. Extraordinary Field Vision and Processing Speed, remarkable Core Power, tremendous Combat Skills, navigating through Traffic, and outstanding Acceleration. Collins is impressive in Pursuit, and he is incredibly staunch and stout at the Point of Attack, and his Tackling is crisp, reliable, and deliciously painful.
Pass Coverage: Competitive. Please do bear in mind: I'm grading him as a Gryphon, not as a RoverBack, much less as a CenterFielder. If Collins's future Coaches foolishly task'm to defend SlotBacks and SpeedBacks, he will get roasted. He simply lacks the Verticity to Turn & Burn with the likes of them. If, on the other hand, his future Coaches possess the Wisdom and ForeSight to deploy'm against Tight Ends, Flex Ends, and Split Ends, he should thrive.
Everywhere I turn, I'm reading Evaluations on Landon Collins that're predicated on crusty, dusty, musty notions of decrepit terms like "Strong Safety" and "Free Safety". And that, Ladies & Laddies, is just plain silly.
Sorry to employ such a harsh term.
The Relentless Persecution of Defenses continues unabated as we surge into the 21st Century, and Desperate Times, as they say, call for Desperate Measures: Clanky old Strong Safeties can hardly survive in this day and age, much less thrive. Defenders must become more Agile, Responsibilities must be spliced, and an Hybrid must be born.
I give you: The Gryphon.
Evaluated as a "Strong Safety" ~ an idiotic term that has no place in my Lexicon ~ Landon Collins is generally perceived as being a classic In The Box Safety ~ a Force against the Run, but a Liability in Coverage.
Well, yeah. He's 228 Pounds, Babe.
Evaluated employing 21st Century NomenClature for a 21st Century Game, on the other hand, I would argue that Landon Collins projects, first, to deploy as a RoverBack on "Running Downs", as a phenomenal Run Defender who can be expected to match up very effectively with Tight Ends, Flex Ends, and Split Ends in Pass Coverage.
I believe that there is emphatic general Agreement in that regard.
And on Passing Downs ~ which, as it turns out, are most of the Downs!! ~ Landon Collins could and should deploy as the Super Hybrid combination RoverBack & MidFielder who either defends the 4th or 5th Receiver or crashes the Line!!
And in that Role, Ladies & Laddies, he would be phenomenal.
Landon Collins is no CenterFielder, my friends. That's "Free Safety", to you Earthlings.
And he is no full time RoverBack. "Strong Safety", if you prefer.
What he is...is exactly what Defenses of the 21st Century desperately need.
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!!