Offensive Guard ~ Maximilian Tuerk ~ Southern
California Trojans ~ 6050/299
The Gutters are riddled with the Corpses of Teams that were built around so-called "skill" Players ~ teams that delighted their Fantasy FootBall Fans every Year, all the way until January...until The Only Games That Really Matter.
It is then, of course, that the Capacity ~ or lack thereof ~ to Move The Chains and protect the QuarterBack against PlayOff Caliber Defenses rears its ugly head. And another Team built for Fantasy FootBall bites the dust.
This is how I break things down, when I'm evaluating Offensive Guards:
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 will still fail if you simply can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables an Offensive Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing 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 Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
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 in the Passing Game. The capacity to Stand one's Ground.
* Drive Power in the Running Game. The capacity to drive your man back.
* 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. Reading Defensive Schemes quickly and effectively, and finding 2nd Level Targets.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Endurance.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
Agility: Extraordinary. Tremendous Launch Velocity. Phenomenal Fluidity. Outstanding Closing Speed.
Combat Skills: Impressive Persistence and Mechanics. Sufficient WingSpan for Guard.
Intangibles: Tremendous. Impressive Motor. Extraordinary Field Vision.
Run Blocking: Extraordinary Potential in Zone: His combination of Processing Speed, Field Vision, and Agility is elite. He would of course get destroyed in a Power Blocking Scheme, regardless of where they deploy'm.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional Potential. In Zone. As the Defender, his marginal Power will be far more of a Liability, as he can be targeted by Power, but in Zone Blocking, that can usually be overcome by Tactics.
As such, I am not ashamed to say that I pay close attention to Combine and Pro Day numbers. Even though I look upon 40 Times and Bench Press Reps with amusement in most cases, I find the Short Shuttle, the 3 Cone, and the Vertical immensely useful in alerting me to hitherto unsuspected Intrinsic Agility, in contrast to Functional Agility.
And I also look to such numbers to confirm what I seem to be seeing.
And that's where the Risk comes in: My Evaluation of Maximilian Tuerk ~ and that of everyone else ~ is of course constrained entirely to what is evident on Tape, due to his Knee Injury having obviated his Opportunity to work out at either the Combine or a Pro Day. That is no great Disadvantage, usually, as most of my Scouting Reports ~ and those of most others, I believe ~ rely far more on Tape than they do on Statistics. But this is an unusual Situation.
Tuerk is generally looked at as a Center, as was Cameron Erving a couple Years ago, in great part because it was the last Position he played in College, and despite his having Experience at other Positions.
But I believe that his WingSpan is far too short for Offensive Tackle ~ on this we all agree ~ but also that he is, yes, too tall for Center to be his optimal Position: The Leverage Liability inherent in battling with Foes far shorter than you not only renders a significant Competitive Disadvantage, but is detrimental to your Endurance and Health.
I believe that that is precisely why my first ever Mock Draft Pick, the Marquis de Pouncey, misses so much FootBall. He has been everything that I expected'm to be, but had I the understanding of what I've come to call The Leverage Liability in 2010 that I now do, I may've still made that Mock Move...But it would've been to deploy Pouncey as a Guard.
As for that: I'd be the last one to dismiss suggestions that a lack of Core Power could prove to be an enormous problem for Tuerk as an Offensive Guard. If he gets deployed in a Power Scheme, he's going to get killed.
But a couple of Side Notes on that...
First: The Argument that deficient Power translates to Center being a better fit for'm seems pretty daft, to me. Offensive Guards certainly deal with their share of Powerful Foes, but I give you two words: Nose Tackle.
Second: Two more words: Evan Mathis.
Mathis's physical Profile, coming out of Alabama in 2005, was virtually exactly that o Tuerk's. Unlike Tuerk, Mathis didn't get hurt before the Combine, and his Fluidity, Speed, and Power Numbers were sensational.
And Even Mathis has been elite for several Years, now.
As a Guard.
I'll preface wrapping this up with my usual caveat about such situations: What Coaches do with a Prospect is beyond my control and can dramatically compromise his Road To Success. I write these Reports based on my opinion of what a Prospect's Position ought to be, but ~ arrogant as I surely am!! ~ I presume not to tell Coaches their Business.
I expect that the Lightning Bolts will deploy Tuerk at Center. Hopefully, it'll work out. If it does, then I'll crow about my brilliant Scouting Report, and if it doesn't, I will of course denounce the brazen Stupidity of the Chargers for not listening to me!!
I keed. I keed.
But seriously: Tuerk's Chances of Success will be far, far greater as a Guard, and in Zone.
And it is upon that theoretical Premise that I write this Report.
Enough preamble: Max Tuerk seems to me to be an extraordinary Zone Blocking Offensive Guard Prospect. If the Chargers are smart, they'll RedShirt'm in 2016, but I don't perceive any lasting Health Issues with his Knee. As such, and because a Year deferred doesn't lower a Prospect's Value in my eyes, I consider'm ~ theoretically ~ a tremendous Pick.
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!!