Offensive Guard ~ Tyrone Crowder ~ Clemson Tigers ~ 6015/333
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: 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.
Agility: Mediocre. His Launch Velocity tends to be mediocre, getting into his Set in Pass Protection, yet sufficient when he's surging in the Running Game, and surprisingly impressive when he's pulling. His Fluidity is uniformly marginal when mirroring in Pass Protection or changing directions in the Open Field. His Acceleration, however, when pulling to the Flanks or driving DownField, is impressive. Losing 15 Pounds or so might give these Grades a big Jump.
Frame: Sufficient. He's the Right Height for Center, actually, but tall enough for Guard, with a sufficient WingSpan, it seems.
Combat Skills: Horrible. Crowder's Paw Positioning is consistently awful, as he usually attacks the perimeter of his Foes's Frames, and ends up clutching and grabbing. And he rarely displays much Paw Persistence, instead often just holding onto his Opponent, sometimes for Dear Life. His FootWork is mediocre, which is to say that it's adequate when he's surging forward in the Running Game but choppy when dropping back in Pass Protection. And he doesn't seem to possess much Command of Lateral Leverage, routinely approaching Blocks Off Center or obliquely.
Processing Speed: Competitive. In the GameCock Game, he was often a Tick slow, and even managed to block DeShaun Watson on one Run where he was supposed to've been the Lead Blocker!! But his Read & React Time & Efficacy in both Pass Protection and in the Running Game was clearly improved against the Tigers on Opening Day.
Motor: Adequate. Sufficient Effort, and his Endurance was significantly improved in the second Game.
Run Blocking: Competitive. If Crowder develops some Combat Skills, he could become a genuine Force at The Point of Attack. There might be far more Power there than he usually brings to bear, but his tendency to hit his Opponent's Perimeter instead of his Torso diffuses most'f'is Power. I want to see more Tape, though, from later on in the Season, because there were a couple of Runs where he looked almost explosive, pulling to Lead Block!!
Pass Blocking: Marginal. He can handle Power, but Speed and Agility are a Liability for'm.
I will say, though, that both his Motor and Processing Speed seemed significantly better it the second Game. And I'll further say that if he dramatically improves his Combat Skills and trims a few Pounds off, his functional Power on the one hand and his Agility on the other ~ and thus his Prospects all together ~ could see big Improvements.
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!!