Dragon ~ Kyle Emanuel ~ North Dakota State Bisons ~ 6033/255
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.
* 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
* Navigating Traffic
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
* Catch Point Capacity
* Combat Skills
Agility: Impressive. Mediocre Launch Velocity but exceptional Fluidity and impressive Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Impressive and potentially Excellent. Exceptional Mechanics and outstanding Persistence. His WingSpan is an enormous Liability, however, though it would be considerably less so if he converted to MidFielder.
Intangibles: Tremendous. Outstanding Field Vision and an extraordinary Motor.
Run Defense: Exceptional and potentially Extraordinary. I believe that he clearly projects to MidFielder at the next level, so please consider that this is written with that in mind. Playing in Space, I believe that his mediocre Launch Velocity and stumpy WingSpan are considerably neutralized, allowing him to Rapidly Read & React to the Play and bring his tremendous Power, exceptional Fluidity, impressive Acceleration, and ferocious Tackling to Bear!!
Pass Coverage: Raw as Hell, of course, as there's precious little Footage of it, but I believe that if Emanuel is converted to MidFielder, as he most certainly ought to be, he has the Potential to become Impressive and potentially Exceptional, for Field Vision, Fluidity, and Acceleration are all Strengths of his. But it will of course take Time & Training.
Pass Rush: Competitive. Potentially Impressive, possibly Exceptional. I don't imagine that Emanuel is likely to develop into the kind of Pass Rushing Terror that will keep QuarterBacks and Offensive Coordinators up at Night, what with those stumpy Arms and that pedestrian Launch Velocity, but a Fusion of Power, Fluidity, Combat Skills, and above all his well developed Timing & Instincts and that phenomenal Motor very likely translate into the sort of Player that wears entire Defenses out while he emotionally exhausts everyone on the other side of the Ball and even steals a few Sacks.
But, yeah: Sometimes you just have to toss out the Combine Numbers!!
Kyle Emanuel looks like a Weak Slug on a Grid, but he looks far more impressive on a GridIron.
Mind you: I am not an huge Fan of that Tyrannosaurus Rex WingSpan of his, and I highly recommend any future Employers draft him only if they run a lot of 34 and have an opening at MidFielder ~ "OutSide LineBacker" to you Earthlings.
Having said that, I will go on Record as saying that I believe that Kyle Emanuel, given half a Chance, is the sort of Super Scrapper who will likely make an Impact far in excess of his Power & Agility Numbers.
His Functional Power is far in excess of what he measures at, and his Functional Agility, is as well.
But what I find most impressive about him is that this former 0 Star Recruit has developed his Mind & Body extraordinarily well, plays his Ass off relentlessly and consistently, and makes his entire Defense better whenever he's out there.
Like all UFA's, he'll be at a considerable Disadvantage from the beginning ~ just as he was at North Dakota State ~ but I don't believe it'll take very long for Coaches to notice'm...and to fall crazy In Love with'm.
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!!