Wolf Tackle ~ Maliek Collins ~ Nebraska CornHuskers ~ 6020/312
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:
Wolves ~ Wolves are the smaller, faster Defensive Tackles. Whereas Grizzlies will generally be counted on to command Double Teams and stop the Inside Run, Wolves will usually be asked to penetrate the Pocket and disrupt, especially against the Pass. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6015/300 or less, and they're getting smaller.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Wolves 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.
When evaluating Wolves, 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, and Processing Speed.
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
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skill
Agility: Extraordinary. Tremendous Launch Velocity and Acceleration, and outstanding Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Excellent. He went 48-0 as an High School Wrestler, and it shows.
Intangibles: Impressive. Mediocre Field Vision but an impressive Motor and excellent Conditioning.
Run Defense: I believe that Collins is at best going to be decent at The Point of Attack, more likely Mediocre and possibly a straight out Liability, as his Core Power is woeful. However, both in Pursuit and in Attacking, he could be a tremendous Asset, as he has the Combat Skills and Fluidity to work around Traffic and the Acceleration to Close.
Pass Rush: Collins has terrific Potential, here, for though he's not gonna Bull Rush too many people, despite his Size, he brings a beautifully potent combination of Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Closing Speed to the BattleField!!
Mailek Collins was highly touted, 8 Months ago, and seemed destined for the 1st Round, and perhaps even Top 10. But a far less statistically spectacular Junior Campaign, a Sea of Defensive Linemen coming out for this Draft Class, and just possibly a spate of overly aggressive Analysis, has sent his Stock tumbling down to #67.
Mind you: I concur with the Criticisms of'is Game: He is pretty much limited to playing 3 Tech in an Even Front.
And that's because his Run Defense is potentially excellent as long as you don't run it at him.
But the Hall of Fame is filled with outstanding Players who had Weaknesses.
Of course the difference between a SuperBeast Top 10 Grade and a Lunatic Fringe UFA Grade is wafer-thin.
I'd give Maliek 10 Bucks and tell'm go watch a Movie.
I keed, I keed!! Because on Passing Downs, Collins has terrifying Potential.
Collins has mediocre Field Vision, which he's going to need to develop, but he has developed his Combat Skills, which tells me a lot about his Drive, because many top Prospects have not. And his Motor on the Field supports this.
That persuades me that the Chances are very good that he's going to continue to work to develop his Game. The best Linemen are always going to be able to run at'm effectively, but I like his Chances of developing his Point of Attack Game to the point where he's competitive enough that you don't have to yoink'm unless it's 4th and 20.
And it's crucial when evaluating him, I think, to remember that he is a Liability only against Power Running Teams.
Zone Running Teams? His Fluidity, Combat Skills, and Closing Speed will terrorize them.
And his Potential as an interior Pass Rusher is elite.
There is Risk, here, and there are Limitations to his Fits...But it says here that Maliek Collins's Stock has been driven far too low by the Confluence of a poor Season and the Law of Supply and Demand.
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!!