MidFielder ~ Roquan Smith ~ Georgia BullDogs
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:
MidFielders ~ This is in fact my collective term for all of what you Earthlings refer to as "LineBackers", a term that I consider moderately insulting to the Players in question. The reason I'm employing a collective term ~ at least for now ~ is that I believe that the Skill Sets for any of the 3 or 4 Jobs indicated therein are remarkably similar, though their Duties are certainly considerably divergent. The Prototype for any MidFielder would be about 6000/240 or thereabouts.
I don't consider Dragons that play what you Earthlings refer to as "OutSide LineBacker" in a 34 Defense to be MidFielders.
Dragons have a particular Skill Set and natural strengths which are divergent to those of MidFielders.
MidFielders, whether in a 434, a 335, a 425, a 245, or whatever you come up with, are natural Super Hybrids who can quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Drop into Coverage, and, above all, Defend against the Run.
When evaluating MidFielders, this is how I break things down:
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: Horizontal Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Tackling: Thunderous Booms are all very well, but I'm more interested in form and efficiency!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Coverage: Ditto.
Pass Rush: Double Dirty Dog Ditto.
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, Rushing the Passer.
* 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.
* Pass Rush Repertoire: Variety.
* Reading & Reacting to Offensive Blocking Schemes with Speed & Precision.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
Power: 50. New Age MidFielder with a lighter Frame, but he's very compact and with excellent Core Power.
Agility: 90. Absolutely sensational Speed and excellent Fluidity.
Frame: 40. His Weight has become standard, so that's very well, but his WingSpan's pretty short.
Combat Skills: 75. Still improving, technically, but improving and impressive, and his Paw Persistence is awesome.
Processing Speed: 100. He occasionally runs a little hot and over-pursues ~ an occupational hazard when you're faster than most mammals on the planet ~ but even more often he is preternaturally fast. I swear to the God of your choice: He sometimes figures out where the Runner's gonna be before the Runner does. I'm not joking.
Tackling: 100. His Form is absolutely awesome, and is matched only by his Ferocity. Indeed: if I included Momentum as part of my Power Grade, I'd've graded his Power a lot higher, because Smith's so mentally and physically fast that he routinely arrives with a full head of steam. Indeed, it's lucky that he's so compact, otherwise, he'd be a danger to'mself.
Motor: 100. Flat out Intensity, all day, every day. Relentless Stamina. Thunderously inspiring Leader.
Run Defense: 100. Excellent at the Point of Attack. He can get engulfed from time to time, but far less often than one might expect, because he's compact, and because he is indeed so damned mentally and physically fast that he often disrupts or simply destroys the Play before it can get going. Tackling? Awesome. And In Pursuit, he's simply magnificent. That Processing Speed and blistering Athleticism? He covers more ground than God, and tackles everything.
Pass Coverage: 100. Elite Brains and Elite Agility...and they do translate.
Pass Rush: 100. Short WingSpan, but explosive Acceleration, great Combat Skills, and the blistering Processing Speed to rapidly diagnose, anticipate, and exploit opportunities with shocking, destructive rapidity.
The only things that I've read to'is detriment are about his Processing Speed and Fluidity, and those, it seems to me, are not warranted. He guesses wrong from time to time, and looks foolish, but so does everyone, because every single Snap is a Chess Match, and your Foes are doing everything in their power to hornswoggle you...and well they ought.
Taken as a whole, though, his Field Vision and Processing Speed are magnificent.
And his Fluidity is tremendous. The Tape is clear on that.
My only potential Debit on Roquan Smith is that his 21st Century Frame render'm perhaps more susceptible to wear and tear than your larger MidFielder, with potential consequences to his efficacy, his availability, and his Career Arc.
Even so, he's far meatier and compact than generally perceived, and I sense from the way that he plays each Snap that, even though he's extremely physical, he's also smart about how he goes about his business, in terms above all of leverage, and how he approaches each Tackle. And I believe that that wisdom trumps any concern I'd've otherwise had.
Positional Valuation? I'm gonna ease up slightly on the bow planes, here.
I'm tempted to stamp Smithy with a #01 overall Grade ~ which wouldn't necessarily mean that I believe that he's the very best Prospect in this Draft, for anyone who isn't familiar with my dogma: only that I believe that you can justify spending the #01 Pick on'm ~ but I'm trending towards reserving such valuations for QuarterBacks and Trench Gorillas.
Mind you: There're always exceptions.
Roquan Smith is custom-built for 21st Century FootBall. His cerebral speed and efficacy are phenomenal, his physical speed matches it, he is strong enough to play for a long time and to play well, because of his compact frame, and his Fluidity is excellent, as well. He was born to lead, and his Drive, by all accounts, matches his extraordinary Intelligence.
His position ~ he's a natural Will MidFielder, though with the Brains and compact Frame to play Mike effectively ~ persuades me to walk back his Grade one click. Mind you: I would've certainly given my Hall of Fame Binkie, LaVonte David, a #01 overall Grade in 2012, had my Game developed to that point, back then, in the prehistoric era of my CyberScouting, this despite David projecting to the exact same Position. So while I may be walking this back a click, I do so from a very lofty level!! I don't believe that Smith's position necessarily projects the level of impact to justify a #01 overall Grade, short of LaVonte David's Game. But he's sure a Top 5, and if he'd gone #01, you wouldn't've seen me squawking about it!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually impossible.
Please also note, Fellow FootBall Fiends: These CyberScouting Reports are not intended as predictions of success or failure, but as assessments ~ ludicrously amateurish assessments ~ of potential success. FootBall is a rough and often unfair business, and many a worthy Prospect has fallen far short of his potential, sometimes not because of his own failings, but because of those of coaching, scheme, timing...or because huge investments were made on other Prospects.
In other words: If any of my Super Dooper Deeper Sleepers ever fail to fulfill their vast potential, I’m confident that it goes without saying that it wasn’t their fault…or mine!!...Yes, I think that I'm being funny.
In other words: Caveat Emptor, Fellow FootBall Fiends!!
Enter at your own risk!!