Dragon End ~ Joey Bosa ~ Ohio State BuckEyes
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:
Dragons ~ This is my terminology for Players who may've played either Defensive End or what you Earthlings call "OutSide LineBacker" in College, and who in any case possess the Size to player either at the next level. They would generally be deployed as Ends in a 43 or as "OutSide LineBackers" in a 34, and have even been known to get deployed as Interior Rushers in the Nascar Package. The Prototype would generally be somewhere around 6050/265 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Dragons 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.
Dragons in a 43 are Defensive Linemen, but Dragons in a 34, for instance, are off the Line and may be asked to drop into Pass Coverage from time to time, so that capacity ~ observed or inferred is going to be part of my Evaluations.
When evaluating Dragons, 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, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
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.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
Agility: Effective. Impressive Launch Velocity. Adept Fluidity. Competitive Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Sensational. Extremely active Hands, phenomenal Mechanics, and a magnificent Pass Rush Repertoire.
Intangibles: Tremendous. Impressive Field Vision and an awesome Motor.
Run Defense: He projects very well indeed as a Run Defender, with the Power, enough Agility, and the Combat Skills to regularly penetrate the BackField, the Motor and Field Vision to make plenty of Plays in Pursuit, and above all the Core Power and the Combat Skills to lay the Anchor at The Point of Attack, as either an End or MidFielder.
Pass Coverage: He's actually got enough Agility and Field Vision to become competitive in Coverage.
Pass Rush: Folks have cooled somewhat on Bosa over the last Year, as his Statistics dropped off precipitously, but that'll happen when you're getting constantly double covered after a BreakOut Campaign, such as he enjoyed in 2014. But I agree that his Potential Pass Rush Prowess isn't as spectacular as was generally perceived last Year: He simply isn't explosive. However, his combination of Power, a little Agility, those incredible Combat Skills, and that sensational Motor of his, I believe, will translate into boatloads of Pressure, Hurries, and Sacks, Year after Year after Year.
I presume nothing of The Future, but Joey Bosa ~ the Gods Granting Good Health ~ is very likely to make the most of what he's got...and carve out a decade of Run-Stopping, Pass-Rushing Excellence.
Trajectory: Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential.
There'll probably be a few Prospects ~ maybe several ~ who I write up before I've completed this Season's Work, who offer as much Talent, Intelligence, and Drive as Joey Bosa, who I won't rate anywhere near as high as him...Although I'll probably rate them far higher than most!! And the reason for that of course will be the Risk Factor, one I calculate and extrapolate from not being able to measure them against Top Shelf College Opponents.
Joey Bosa carries no such Uncertainty.
Elite Talent? No.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!