Offensive Tackle ~ Tyrus Thompson ~ Oklahoma Sooners ~ 6050/324
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 Tackles:
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 stiff and lumbering out there.
Combat Skills: Paw Power, Mechanics ~ Hand Speed & Positioning ~ and of course: Frame.
Intangibles: Processing Speed and Motor. Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to how the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape effects Blocking Schemes, and Motor is about Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, 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.
* Paw Power ~ The Power & Speed of the initial Punch.
* Paw Velocity ~ How active the Hands are.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Frame ~ Above all: WingSpan.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Tremendous!! As stunned as I was to discover Thompson's lack of Power, I was astonished to find that his Launch Velocity, his Acceleration UpField and to the Flanks, and his Fluidity, were all those of a much lighter man.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. Raw Mechanics and suffers from Inconsistence of Persistence. Haw.
Intangibles: Impressive. Mediocre Motor, but excellent Field Vision & Processing Speed.
Run Blocking: Competitive, but with tremendous Potential. Thompson is in my perception a a very strong Zone Blocking fit. In a Power Scheme, his marginal Power would be an huge Liability. But in a Zone Scheme, that would be considerably less crucial, while his tremendous Agility and excellent Field Vision would be given full reign to flourish.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional and with outstanding Potential. Power is going to give him issues, though. He needs to Beef up his lower Core. And his Mechanics need a lot of Work, too. But his Agility is tremendous, as is his Potential.
There're a lot of Variables in evaluating Tyrus Thompson, a lot of Shadows.
For one thing: His Dedication and Drive. These have been called into question, you see, and Tyrus Thompson certainly won't be mistaken for one of those ferocious maniacs who plays every Snap to the Whistle and beyond...And many Evaluators seem to perceive that as Apathy and they consequently call his Passion into Question.
I'm less certain about that. Don't get me wrong: I'd like to see more Ferocity from Thompson and other such Prospects, as well. FootBall is after all a very psychological Sport, and the Attitude that is established in the Trenches has vast and far reaching Consequences. But I don't need to see a guy jumping up and down or abusing his Opponents to be convinced that he gives a Rat's Ass. Whether or not these guys have the Driving Passion To Become Great will certainly have an enormous Impact on each of their Fortunes...But I believe it's important to remember that every last one of them has invested invest Years of Time & Training to get to where they are: The Wimps have long since washed out.
Some guys ~ many guys ~ are simply less...demonstrative.
Some guys manage their Energy...with a mind towards accomplishing 60 Minutes of High Level Play.
But I digress.
The other strange things about evaluating Tyrus Thompson are his surprisingly marginal Power and his equally surprising Agility. To look at'm, you'd expect the opposite. Well, It Is What It Is, and Tyrus Thompson is a pretty exciting Prospect, though a frightening one, due to the bizarre dichotomy between what you see and what you get.
Here's my Take: There's a load of Risk, here, because of his marginal Power, his mediocre Combat Skills, and, yes, little to no Evidence that he possesses the Insatiable Desire to Be Great that would obliterate such concerns.
But in my Perspective, there are no genuine Red Flags, just Risks.
And Risks, we can Assess Discounts for.
I see Tyrus Thompson as a very talented Zone Blocking Left Tackle Prospect, one who could conceivably play Right Tackle, or Left Guard, or Right Guard, and might even have a Prayer in a Power Scheme in a few Years if he develops those Chicken Legs of'is. But if you want the Maximum Return on Investment, the Best Bang For Your Bucks, I do highly recommend that you develop this kid and deploy'm at Left Tackle in a Zone Blocking Scheme, yes I do.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
5th ~ 7th Round
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!