Offensive Guard ~ Nico Siragusa ~ San Diego State Aztecs ~ 6042/320
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 lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Lateral Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Blocking: Applying it all: Power, Agility, Frame, Combat Skills, Processing Speed, and Motor.
Pass Blocking: Power, Agility, Frame, 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.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Reading & Reacting to Defensive Schemes & Stunts quickly and effectively.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
* Power ~ Drive Power to project Power in the Running Game.
* Agility ~ especially Acceleration DownField or to the Flank.
* Frame ~ especially Vertical Leverage.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
* Power ~ Anchoring Strength to reject Power in the Passing Game.
* Agility ~ especially Fluidity to Mirror the Pass Rusher.
* Frame ~ especially WingSpan.
* Combat Skills.
* Processing Speed.
Power: Excellent. Impressive Torso Power and terrific Core Power.
Agility: Effective. Impressive Launch Velocity out'f'is Stance and surprisingly impressive Fluidity. Mediocre Acceleration.
Frame: Effective. He's the Right Height for optimal Vertical Leverage and has a decent WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Exceptional, all around: Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, FootWork, and Command of Lateral Leverage.
Processing Speed: Impressive. Siragusa made the occasional Mistake, but generally exhibited superior Speed & Efficacy both in Reading & Reacting to Defensive Stunts in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game. He got hornswoggled once against the Oklahoma State CowBoys, but that's pretty good, considering the highly deceptive Approach that the CowBoys took, all Game long. For the vast majority of the time, both against them in 2016 and against the Nevada WolfPack and the San Diego State Spartans in 2015, he was consistently Fast & Effective in picking up Targets and approaching them from the right Angle & Speed in the Running Game, and equally Fast & Effective at diagnosing Defensive Stunts, Twists, and Blitzes and engaging the right Targets in Pass Protection.
Motor: Mediocre. Impressive Effort, but marginal Conditioning. He faded hard in the CowBoy Game, and on one horrifying Play, simply stopped blocking his Foe, who then chased down the QuarterBack on a prospective Game-tying Drive.
Run Blocking: Exceptional, and potentially tremendous, especially on a Power Scheme Team. Siragusa needs to get into better Condition, but if he does, he's got the Power and Combat Skills to become dominant at The Point of Attack, and enough Agility to get to the Flanks or DownField quickly enough to excel Behind Enemy Lines.
Pass Blocking: Exceptional. Siragusa consistently exhibited surprisingly Fluidity, and he also boasts terrific Power, exceptional Combat Skills, and impressive Processing Speed in picking up Defensive HornSwoggling.
Nico Siragusa certainly surprised me. Based on what I've generally seen with Prospects with similar Measurement, I was expecting to find that he'd leaned on'is Size to do most'f the Work for'm, and was therefore expecting to see deficient development both of Combat Skills and of Processing Speed...and of course: marginal Agility!!
Far from it. Siragusa's evidently worked hard to develop both the Mental and the Technical Aspects of'is Game, and that, in the Prism of my Trajectory Formula ~ Talent x Intelligence x Drive = Potential/Risk ~ renders me highly optimistic that Siragusa is a very strong Bet to continue to Do The Work...and to benefit fully from having done so.
High Ceiling/High Floor, as you Earthlings might put it!!
He does need to improve his Conditioning, mind you, but my Perception of his Drive & Intelligence is high enough that I am also confident that he's likely to do precisely that, and probably only needs a Top Shelf Conditioning Coach.
That Concern compels me to back off a Click on his Grade & Rank, but I am very high on this Kid, who I believe stands a very good Chance of becoming an exceptional Pass Blocker and an extraordinary Run Blocker.
* After Careful Consideration, I'm gonna back'm off half a Click ~ but that's it!!
Kid's a Beast Prospect with Beast Potential!!
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!
3rd ~ 5th Round
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!