Offensive Tackle ~ Ryan Ramczyk ~ Wisconsin Badgers ~ 6054/312
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 Tackles:
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: Horizontal 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: Exceptional, and proportionate throughout his Frame.
Agility: Sensational. Explosive Launch Velocity out'f'is Stance. Blistering Speed to the Flanks and DownField in the Running Game. Magnificent Fluidity to Mirror in Pass Protection or to redirect in the Open Field.
Frame: Perfect. Most everyone in this Galaxy agrees: The taller the Tackle, the better. Owl Shit. William Walsh, Coach and Genius, considered 6050 optimal, and he was correct. 6050 is the Right Height for optimal Vertical Leverage for an Offensive Tackle, and Ramczyk is just about spot on...and his WingSpan appears to be outstanding.
* Update: Mediocre, and even that's shaky. So much for PreCombine Numbers, and so much for my Eyes ~ they tell Lies!! Ramczyk measured in considerably taller than previously reported, and his WingSpan is short.
Combat Skills: Tremendous. It's hard to believe that Ramczyk's Level 1 College Experience amounts to a Grand Total of 1 Season!! His Command of Lateral Leverage, his Paw Positioning, his Paw Persistence, and his FootWork are all outstanding, whether he's dropping back in Pass Protection or attacking in the Running Game. Wow.
Processing Speed: Excellent. His Speed & Efficacy both in Reading & Reacting to Defensive Deception in Pass Protection and in Locating & Approaching Targets in the Running Game was consistently remarkable. Not to beat this Horse to Death, but such cerebral Acuity in essentially his Rookie College Campaign blows my freaking mind.
Motor: Outstanding. Tremendous Intensity. Extraordinary Conditioning.
Run Blocking: Magnificent. Ramcyzk has the Potential to dominate, and in either a Power Scheme or in Zone. He can crack Thunder at The Point of Attack, and he can Wreak Havoc miles Behind Enemy Lines.
Pass Blocking: Phenomenal. With exceptional Power, with serpentine Fluidity to Mirror, and with a sprawling WingSpan, if my eyes tell me true, Ramcyzk can defeat elite levels of Power and Speed, and will not be outfought.
Easiest Scouting Report I've written up this Season, and by far the most enjoyable!!
I never heard of Ryan Ramczyk until a few Weeks ago, and never laid an eye on'm until tonight ~ Sunday Night, though this will go out Monday Morning, as is the Rhythm of my Schedule ~ but I'm already crazy about this Kid.
Wisconsin is Ramcyzk's 5th College, Ladies & Laddies.
That is not a Typo.
His has been a remarkably twisted Journey to get to this point. At one point, it seems, he took a break from FootBall for a Year and listened when his Father suggesting quitting all together to go into Welding. To my intense Amusement but complete lack of Surprise, that transitional period ~ 4 Years ago ~ has virtually every Site and every Scout who I've read quoted flagging him and questioning his Love of FootBall. Yeah, and I once wanted to be an Astronaut.
The other funny thing is: Ramczyk's likely only to get better.
* Update: How very weird and annoying: Ramczyk's BirthDay seems to be a Deep Dark Secret. All I can find is "circa 2004", as if he's a Pitcher from Japan or the Caribbean trying to hide his true Age, or something. Well, 2004 works, as he graduated High School in 2012, so that makes'm most likely 23 this Year. That's on the high side for a Prospect ~ not egregiously so, but it impacts the Value of'is Stock, in my opinion. I believe that when a Team invests a Draft Pick in a Prospect, about 90-99% of their effective Return on Investment is the Production that they get from'm in'is Prime Years, these being those Years before his 30th Birthday, in most cases other than those of QuarterBacks.
With most Prospects being 21 or 22 when they hit The Market ~ though keeping in mind that the 21 Year Olds are generally more likely to need more Seasoning ~ a 23 Year Old is generally offering 8 Years of Prime Time versus 9 or 10, and I therefore consider it appropriate to discount his Value a Click, as I will will that of Ryan Ramczyk.
There is also the matter of his Frame proving to be far less optimal than my Lying Eyes or previous Measurements had represented, and that's a major Factor in how I assess the Value of a Prospect's prospective Prospects. Haw.
I still love the kid. He's Strong, he's Smooth, his Combat Skills are tremendous ~ which in itself is amazing with only 1 Year in Wisconsin ~ and he's clearly highly Driven and highly Intelligent. I believe that he's got enormous Potential, and, more importantly, that he's got a very high Chance of fulfilling it. I'm gonna Walk Back my Ratings from my original SuperBeast Rank and Top 3 Grade, but I believe that he's one of the strongest Picks that the Saints could've made at #32.
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!!