Offensive Center ~ Tyler Orlosky ~ West Virginia Mountaineers ~ 6033/297
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 Centers:
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.
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: Mediocre. I watched 3 Game Tapes on Draft BreakDown, and didn't see a single Snap where he overpowered his Foe in Man to Man Combat. What's even less impressive, though, was that he had many 2 on 1 Opportunities in those Games, yet never delivered a Knock Out Blow. And I found it highly interesting that the Mountaineers rarely ran it up the Middle behind Orlosky. On the other hand, I rarely saw him get Blown Up, though he often gave Ground.
Agility: Mediocre. Neither very Quick nor very Fluid, Orlosky doesn't cover a lot of Ground when Run Blocking, nor does he mirror very effectively in Pass Protection. He Sets adequately quickly enough in Pass Protection, though.
Frame: Mediocre. I'll always reserve the right to change this Grade if The Combine tells me that my Eyes were deceiving me, but while his Height at 6030 is good for a Center, his WingSpan looks a bit short.
Combat Skills: Impressive. He seems to have a strong understanding of Horizontal Leverage, and makes a consistent effort to position himself squarely or better. He often fails to succeed in this, but it seems like a lack of Fluidity and Acceleration are the Culprits, to be honest with you. His Paw Positioning is excellent when he can get in front of his Opponent, and his Paw Persistence is competitive. His FootWork, though, is on the mediocre side.
Processing Speed: Mediocre. He's Effective in Pass Protection at picking up on Defensive Schemes and Stunts, but Marginal in Run Blocking, where he's not very quick in picking up Targets nor effective in approaching them from a Direction and Speed that produces an advantageous Angle of Engagement or Horizontal Leverage.
Motor: Adequate. Nothing inspiring, that's for sure, but a consistent 60 Minutes of Effort throughout all 3 Games.
Run Blocking: Marginal. I think that he'd get killed in a Power Scheme, and I don't know if he's got the Agility for Zone.
Pass Blocking: Competitive. Barely. Maybe. Neither his Power nor his Agility appear bad, and his Combat Skills help, but I believe that his mediocre WingSpan will expose his lack of Power and Agility at the next level: I sense that too many Defenders are going to be able to get at him and either overpower him or slip by him.
It's worth noting that he very rarely got decisively defeated on the Game Tape that I watched. However, I strongly suspect that that was far more attributable to the fact that the Mountaineers play a classic College Easy Read/Quick Strike ShotGun Offense, and that Defenders know this and thus know that Rushing the Passer is almost always going to be a futile gesture, so they rarely Pushed the Issue. Thus, Orlosky rarely had to hold up in Pass Protection for very long.
That of course will not be the case at the next level. I believe that Tyler Orlosky's got a Fighting Chance to compete, but I believe, too, that he lacks the Power or Agility to Run Block very effectively in Power or Zone, and that his lack of WingSpan will very likely expose his mediocre Power and Agility in Pass Protection, despite impressive Combat Skills.
At this Stage in my Process, he's looking like a Reserve to me.
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!!