CornerBack ~ Eric Rowe ~ Utah Utes ~ 6006/204
CornerBacks are of course Pass Defense Specialists, but I will include Run Defense in my Evaluations. But I will note, of course, that as with Blocking as it pertains to WideOuts, it is desirable, yes, but its absence is no Red Flag.
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: Combat Skills, 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
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
Processing Speed: Moderate. This, too, seemed to improve over the course of the Year.
Run Defense: Tremendous. Excellent Range and a ferocious yet incredibly disciplined Tackler.
Pass Coverage: Exceptional and potentially Awesome, but it depends. Rowe possesses the Fluidity, the Ricochet, and the Acceleration for Off Coverage, but not necessarily the Field Vision. I like'm far better at Press.
Much is in dispute about Eric Rowe, not the least of which is what his optimal Role is at the next level, be it CenterFielder or CornerBack. Many have suggested the New Age CenterFielder role that I've been espousing: A CenterFielder on Running Downs or Ambiguous Downs who drops down to play NickelBack on obvious Passing Downs.
Rowe possesses the Fluidity and Acceleration of a CenterFielder, but not necessarily the Field Vision, this despite having almost 3 full Years under his belt at that Role. I find it very interesting that the Utes under Coach Kyle Whittingham reversed the usual Custom of switching the less agile CornerBack to CenterFielder in Rowe's case, instead choosing to switch him to a more athletically demanding Position. That move doubtlessly reflected some level of Team Need, but it is also a move that could reflect both poorly on Rowe's Field Vision yet positively on his Agility, and I point it out not because I presume to be privy to any of the Thinking of Coach Whittingham or his Defensive Coaches, but because such admittedly esoteric Speculation happens to thread perfectly with my own Perception of Rowe's Game...and seems very shrewd, indeed.
Eric Rowe's CornerBack Game is still developing, but improved dramatically over the course of the 2014 Campaign, and it seems clear to me that Press Corner, not Off Coverage or CenterFielder, is his best Path, going forward: He brings a remarkable level of Fluidity, Ricochet, and Acceleration, combined with the physical Mentality that you need and an absolutely sprawling WingSpan. By the end of the Year, he was playing far, far faster and shutting folks down.
His Trajectory ~ in the classic sense ~ is pointing up at a steep angle. I believe that there's a very good Chance that he's going to develop into an exceptional Press Corner, given the Chance, and perhaps an outstanding one.
As for Trajectory in the Souped Up sense that I like to employ it: The rapid Improvement of his Game over the course of the Year tell me plenty about the Work he must've put in, how quickly and how effectively he can apply New Knowledge, and, therefore, about his Intelligence and Drive. I'm thinking we've just seen the tip of Eric Rowe's IceBerg.
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!!