Offensive Tackle ~ William "Gets Called for"
Holden ~ Vanderbilt Commodores ~ 6072/312
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 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. Sufficient Core Power, but hindered both by too much Height and not enough WingSpan. Defenders can too easily get up inside his Frame and seize the Leverage Advantage, thus neutralizing his Power.
Agility: Mediocre.Impressive Launch Velocity, but mediocre Fluidity to Mirror and marginal Acceleration and Speed.
Frame: Horrible. Way too tall for any Vertical Leverage, and his WingSpan is that of a Center.
Combat Skills: Excellent in all regards: FootWork, Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, and Persistence. A true Technician.
Processing Speed: Exceptional, both in reading Defensive Pass Rush Pressure and in finding Targets in the Run Game.
Motor: Impressive Intensity and Stamina.
Run Blocking: Mediocre, but Scheme Versatile!!
Pass Blocking: Ditto.
Given those harsh Liabilities and the lack of any dynamic Core Power or Agility to compensate for'm, I believe that William "Just Got Caught For" Holden brings a UFA Skill Set to the Field of Battle. However, this Kid's Intangibles ~ Processing Speed, Motor, and Combat Skills ~ are outstanding, making it clear that we're dealing with high levels of Drive and Intelligence, which matter in any Job, and especially when one's trying to forge a Career in The Trenches.
He seems like a guy who should compete to carve out a Roster spot, starting out as a Lower Roster and Practice Squad guy, but who could develop into a borderline passable Swing Tackle and make a few Starts.
But I do believe that he was drafted (early 5th Round) a couple of Rounds early, perhaps based on his impressive Work against Tennessee's Derek Barnett, who I'm actually crazy about, but who I also consider OverRated.
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!!