Gryphon ~ Deion Jones ~ Louisiana State
Fighting Tigers ~ 6006/222
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:
Gryphons ~ The Gryphon of ancient Egyptian Lore is an Hybrid of a Lion and an Eagle, and thus I believe an utterly perfect term for an emerging Role ~ and the attendant Skill Set ~ that I believe is going to become of enormous Importance in the Decades to come: The Hybrid MidFielder/RoverBack ~ that's "LineBacker/Strong Safety" to you Earthlings. The Base Formation is rapidly approaching Extinction: The Sub Package Is The New Base, Ladies & Laddies!! The next Development in the Eternal War between Offense and Defense may very well be an 11th Player ~ that same MidFielder/RoverBack Hybrid ~ playing Full Time!! The Prototype would be about 6000/225, I'd say.
The Gryphon would optimally be able to play RoverBack in "Base" Formations, and drop down to MidFielder for Big Nickel.
Gryphons could thus quite conceivably emerge as the Field Generals of the Defense in the Years to come.
When evaluating Gryphons, this is how I break things down:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Navigating Traffic, Processing Speed, Motor, and Tackling.
Pass Coverage: Agility, Processing Speed, and Catch Point Capacity.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Processing Speed: Impressive. Inconsistent, but that's to be expected, as he only broke into the Tiger Starting LineUp just last Year. He improved over the course of the Campaign, and should only get better at Reading & Reacting.
Run Defense: Competitive. Marginal at The Point Of Attack. Exceptional In Pursuit. Jones exhibits decent Core Power for'is Size, but it'd be a Mistake to ask'm to Set The Edge, or put'm in a Position where he can easily be run at. Flowing to the Play, however, he's far more effective. His Combat Skills are only decent, but if he improves them, he'll have tremendous Potential, because as his Processing Speed continues to improve, he'll be increasingly quick to unleash that awesome Closing Speed of his and fly all over the Field. His Tackling needs some Work, though, as he's had too many Misses. Possibly that's indicative of his comfort level, though: Form comes with Rhythm, and Rhythm comes with Reps.
Pass Coverage: Exceptional and with Tremendous Potential. Jones's excellent Agility and his impressive and improving Field Vision are manifest in Coverage and translate into terrific Possibilities as his Game continues to develop. Pass Coverage is a far more daunting Task than Run Defense, and his Acuity after one Year starting is remarkable.
Blitz Bonus: While I don't include Pass Rush as a Category for Gryphons, because that seems to me to be an ancillary part of their Game, and one where distinguishing their relative Pass Rushing Skill Sets strikes me as dabbling in minutia, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it when I thought that a Prospect brought a little something extra in that regard. And Jones, while possessed of mediocre Combat Skills, does indeed exhibit both impressive and improving Field Vision and blistering Closing Speed. With Time & Training, and especially if he develops his Combat Skills, he could become formidable.
He's only started for the one Year, yet exhibited unmistakable Leadership traits on the Field of Battle, and indeed prefaced by an acute understanding of the Defense: He was clearly paying attention for the previous 3 Years on the Bench!!
He exhibited the Inconsistency one expects from a 1st Year starter, but when he was clicking, his evident Processing Speed was highly impressive...and he clicked far more often over the course of the Year, as his Reps mounted.
Applying my Formula for Trajectory ~ Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk ~ is especially important when evaluating Prospects like Jones who've only started for one Year, as Potential carries a lot more weight with them, as opposed to a Four Year Starter who's Resume includes tons of Tape and who's Game is naturally far more developed.
And I like what I see: Jones's persistence through 3 entire Campaigns on the periphery, trying to keep focused while riding the Bench, at the end of which he emerged with impressive and improving Field Vision, tells me one Hell of a great deal both about his Intelligence and his Drive...And his Talent, both in Run Defense and in Pass Coverage, is terrific.
I strongly suspect that he's going to acclimate far faster than most expect, and while I don't believe that he's ever going to be very effective at The Point of Attack in Run Defense, I believe that as a genuine Hybrid in an Amorphous Defense, or possibly as a 43 Will, he could develop into a dynamic Run Defender and an outstanding Pass Defender.
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!!