Offensive Guard ~ Nick Martin ~ Notre Dame Fighting Irish ~ 6040/299
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 Duration.
* 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: Moderate. Impressive Launch Velocity. Mediocre Fluidity. Mediocre Acceleration.
Combat Skills: Excellent. Adequate WingSpan. Tremendous Mechanics.
Intangibles: Impressive. Adequate Processing Speed. Excellent Motor.
Run Blocking: Competitive. Mediocre Drive Power for Power Blocking and mediocre Fluidity and Acceleration for Zone, but Martin's Combat Skills and Motor translate to a guy who, while he won't often generate much Momentum with Power or Disruption with Speed, should at least consistently get to where he's supposed to and hold his Position.
Pass Blocking: Competitive. His lack of Power and Fluidity will consistently leave Martin little margin for error, but the good new is of course that his Combat Skills are indeed excellent, as is his Motor. Between those and his impressive Launch Velocity, I believe that Martin will usually be able to compensate for his Deficiencies well enough to compete.
299 Pounds is light for a Guard, but it's even lighter for a Center, if you ask me!!
His Weight pretty much dictates that he projects best as a Zone Guard.
I actually projected Martin's Brother Zack to Offensive Guard in 2014, projecting him ~ as did others ~ to move inside from Tackle, interestingly enough, as opposed to moving him outside from Center, as propose with Nick.
And they're just about identical in Size!!
I'm not nearly as high on Nick Martin as I was on Zack, obviously ~ not many are ~ and a bit lower on'm than most. But I do believe that he has a good Chance of forging a Starter's Snaps, and I should also note that I've read that he was considerably more athletic before the Knee Injury in 2013, and've read suggestions that the mediocre Tape that he's put out since then has been more suggestive of recovery from that Injury and other passing maladies, as opposed to a fundamental and lasting loss of Agility. If that is in fact the case, and Martin ultimately returns to full Health and thence recaptures his Former Form, he may ultimately far outplay the Value that either I or the Market attribute to'm.
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!!