Wolf ~ Xavier Cooper ~ Washington State Cougars ~ 6030/294
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:
Wolves ~ Wolves are the smaller, faster Defensive Tackles. Whereas Grizzlies will generally be counted on to command Double Teams and stop the Inside Run, Wolves will usually be asked to penetrate the Pocket and disrupt, especially against the Pass. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6015/300 or less, and they're getting smaller.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Wolves may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Wolves, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
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 still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running 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 Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
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 in the Pass Rush.
* 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. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Phenomenal. His Launch Velocity, Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration are all outstanding.
Combat Skills: Impressive and potentially Excellent. Tremendous Mechanics and excellent Persistence. Awful WingSpan, though. Will need to improve his Game with the jump in Competition, but gives every reason to believe that he will.
Intangibles: Exceptional. Was diagnosed with a Learning Disability in High School, but has persevered and come a long way. Mediocre Field Vision, but an exceptional Motor and the Heart of a Lion. He'll keep getting better.
Run Defense: Competitive. Deficient at the Point of Attack, though: Mediocre Power. But he has the Launch Velocity and the Acceleration to frequently disrupt in the BackField, and the Ricochet and Acceleration to make Plays in Pursuit.
Pass Rush: Tremendous. Phenomenal Launch Velocity, impressive Combat Skills, terrific Fluidity, and outstanding Acceleration. He won't get there on Power, but as a Penetrator, he has immense Potential.
He was diagnosed with a Learning Disability in High School, you see.
The League tends to shrivel up in the face of The Unusual.
Will, shit on that. Cooper's most dynamic Attributes is his Launch Velocity, and when you roll the Tape, it quickly becomes evident that that sensational Launch Velocity is compounded by his remarkable capacity to consistently and correctly anticipate the Snap Count, and there's only one possible explanation for that: An high level of Intelligence.
So much for the Crippling Effects of his Learning Disability.
Xavier Cooper brings spectacular Agility to the Field of Battle. His Power is mediocre, and his otherwise exemplary Combat Skills are compromised by an alarming lack of WingSpan, but I don't give a Rat's Ass: Cooper has a Trump Card: He brings that astonishing Launch Velocity to the BattleField, you see, and Speed, as they say, kills.
Cooper played both 34 End and 43 Tackle at Washington State, but it's clear to me that his best Role is in the Interior.
He can overcome that WingSpan well indeed at Tackle, because the deficiency is exponentially reduced against Offensive Guards and Centers, whereas against Offensive Tackles and Tight Ends it'd be exacerbated and exaggerated.
As an Interior Run Defender, Cooper will likely be a Liability at the Point of Attack, because his Anchor is mediocre, but in Pursuit, his extraordinary Agility and Speed, and his remarkable Motor, should play to great Advantage.
Where he'll make his Mark, of course, is as a penetrating Interior Pass Rusher. Cooper's extraordinary Launch Velocity, his impressive and improving Combat Skills, and his Fluidity and Speed, are Custom Built for that Job.
Does his extraordinary Skill Set translate to the next level? I believe so. I am extremely impressed with the things that this kid's Resume say about his Motor, and I am equally impressed by what his frequently extraordinary Anticipation of Snap Counts say about his Processing Speed and his Capacity to Learn, Retain, and Apply Knowledge In Real Time.
...When the Bullets are Flying, one might say.
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!!