CornerBack ~ Obi Melifonwu ~ Connecticut Huskies ~ 6040/224
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
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:
CornerBacks ~ I find it quite amusing that the very last Skill Set on my list is the only Defensive Skill Set ~ so far!! ~ for whom I haven't adapted or invented a new Term. The Prototype would be about 6000/195.
CornerBacks are of course Pass Defense Specialists, but I will include Run Defense in my Evaluations. But I will note, of course, that as with Blocking as it pertains to WideOuts, it is desirable, yes, but its absence is no Red Flag.
This is how I break down CornerBacks:
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, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Field Vision.
CatchPoint Capacity: Tracking, Timing, Combat Skills, and WingSpan.
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
* Processing Speed
* Agility ~ Fluidity, Ricochet, Acceleration, and Speed, baby!!
* Processing Speed ~ Reading and Reacting with Speed & Precision to Offensive Tactics.
* Field Vision ~ Processing Speed with an emphasis on the Tactical LandScape.
* Combat Skills
* Vertical Agility
Agility: Excellent. Marginal Fluidity. Extraordinary Speed. Melifonwu was recruited as a RoverBack, and played there and at CenterFielder at Connecticut, but I'm profiling him at CornerBack, where Speed trumps Fluidity.
Processing Speed: Mediocre. He Reads & Reacts with very inconsistent Speed & Precision.
Run Defense: Excellent. Melifonwu is exceptional at the Point of Attack, even though his tall Frame costs him substantially in the Power Department, due to'is Center of Gravity being so damned high that he loses most'f'is Vertical Leverage to shorter Foes, and he's outstanding In Pursuit, because his Range is excellent, his Motor is impressive, his Stamina is extraordinary, and his Tackling, thanks mostly to his phenomenal WingSpan, is tremendous.
Pass Coverage: Competitive and potentially extraordinary. This Grade is highly Scheme Specific, of course, as Melifonwu clearly profiles as a Press Corner, where his outstanding Speed is far more important than his marginal Fluidity, and where his awesome WingSpan can be employed to maximum Advantage both in Press and at The Catch Point.
CatchPoint Capacity: Competitive and again: potentially extraordinary. Competitive Tracking & Timing ~ inconsistent. And mediocre Hands. But phenomenal Vertical Agility and a magnificent WingSpan. He just needs Time & Training.
It's just that I believe that there's even more Risk in investing in this Kid if you leave him at RoverBack ~ or Strong Safety, as you Earthlings regrettably put it!! I'm reading a lot of Kam Chancellor comparisons ~ as one always does when a tall RoverBack hits the wire ~ but I don't see'm: Chancellor's both more compact than Melifonwu and slower.
Chancellor's incredibly powerful, and he's remarkably quick and smooth.
That is a bad Comp.
Melifonwu could play Rover at the next level, but the "exceptional" Grade that I offered his Point of Attack Run Defense as a Corner, for one thing, would be very different with a Rover's In The Box Responsibilities: I strongly suspect that his High Center of Gravity would prove to be an enormous Liability, and that Teams would in fact run right at'm.
And while I gave his In Pursuit Run Defense an outstanding Grade as a CornerBack, his FrankenStein Fluidity would place an enormous hindrance on his ability to cover enough Real Estate for a RoverBack, even with his Speed.
We'd be looking at exceptional, perhaps even excellent, but not outstanding.
Finally, his Pass Coverage Responsibilities as a RoverBack would be hampered by the broader Range of Field he'd have to cover, both because of that FrankenStein Fluidity and that choppy Processing Speed of his.
Indeed, he just might suck at it.
Put'm in Press Coverage, though, where he can focus on putting that beautiful WingSpan to work, mauling Split Ends and the occasional Tight End or Flex End and then just fly DownField with'm...my God.
I think that we're looking at the difference between a potentially good Rover...and a potentially dominant CornerBack.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the invaluable Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!