Golden Gophers ~ 5115/198
I can no longer abide the application of the pathetically weak and flaccid term "Safety" to Gladiators.
It is struck from my Vocabulary.
The erstwhile "Free Safety" is truly the CenterFielder of the Defense. Honestly, I consider the term absolutely perfect.
And the erstwhile "Strong Safety", playing an increasingly hybrid Role and constantly improvising, is a RoverBack, I think.
When analyzing the Merits of a prospective CenterFielder, this is how I personally break things down:
Intangibles: Diagnostic Acuity, Field Vision, and, above all: Processing Speed. And of course: Motor. Motor Matters.
Agility: Acceleration, Fluidity, and Closing Speed. And of course: Verticity!! Turning & Burning in Direct Coverage.
Pass Prevention: Timing, Vertical Burst, WingSpan, and don't forget the Brutality!!
Run Support: Appetite, Tactical Discipline, and Combat Skills ~ working through Traffic & Tackling Mechanics.
Agility: Impressive and possibly extraordinary. What I mean is that on Tape his Fluidity, Acceleration, Closing Speed, and Range are all impressive, but there are occasional flashes of explosive Agility that make me wonder if his sensational Combine Numbers are in fact truer Indicators that his Tape, and if we'll see that, once he settles into one Position.
Pass Prevention: Deficient. Yeah, they were wise to move'm away from CornerBack: His Tracking and Timing will probably improve with Time, Training, and Experience, but Vereen's Size, WingSpan, and Hands are all lacking.
Run Support: Mediocre. Superior Range and Motor. Strong Mechanics. Horrible Core Power, though: No Boom.
The raw Agility that he demonstrated at the Combine was extraordinary, and while the gutters are indeed littered with the corpses of UnderWear Olympics Champions, when I combine his Combine performance with a Resume that shows that he was effective enough to win the starting Gig at two different Positions in two Years, but has therefore had little Opportunity to master either one...I'm inclined to take that Combine performance very seriously.
This is all Speculation, of course ~ much more so in this particular case ~ but when presuming to assess a Grade to a Prospect as we Draft Ghouls do, I focus much more on Trajectory than anyone else, I believe.
Indeed, I'm the only one I know of who even employs the term.
Were I to assess Brock Vereen's Prospects based entirely on Tape, I'd come up with a Collaborator Grade: An occasional Starter, occasional Reserve, and quite possibly a part of a Rotation: A 4th or 5th Round Grade.
But when I cross-reference that Tape with his Resume and his Combine performance ~ and the proven phenomenal Agility of his Brother, Shifty Shane Vereen!! ~ it seems to me that there is a very distinct Possibility, given Time, Training, and Experience, that Brock Vereen, who is by all accounts an extraordinarily intelligent and extraordinarily dedication Student of the Game, will harness his extraordinarily raw Agility and become an exceptional CenterFielder.
It's playing Odds, mind you, and I certainly must acknowledge the Possibility that I'm wrong.
And there would still remain the matters of his ineffective CatchPoint skills and his mediocre Run Support.
But I believe that Brock Vereen's already impressive Field Vision and Processing Speed will develop, given Time, Training, and Experience, into extraordinary Field Vision and Processing Speed, and I believe that his innately tremendous Agility will ultimately translate into tremendous Fluidity, Closing Speed and Range on the Field of Battle.
I believe, in short, that Brock Vereen, given Time, Training, & Experience, will probably become an excellent CenterFielder.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value