QuarterBack ~ Shane Carden ~ East Carolina Pirates ~ 6020/220
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ the men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannon, it says here, the more likely that they're going to rely on that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card as often as they can, and fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Marginal. His Mechanics are a little raw, and his Timing & Trajectory often suffer for it. He's got a phenomenal Completion Percentage, but that of course is a function of the Spread Offense he directs with the Pirates.
Pocket Presence: Competitive. He displays impressive Poise Under Pressure, his Processing Speed seems to hold up nicely when he's running for'is life, and he usually keeps focused DownField. The only Aspect of Pocket Presence with which I'd fault'm would be in'is sense of Timing & Space, which I find deficient. It seems to me that he is all too often blissfully oblivious, when Time & Space might've been snatched, to the Pass Rush descending upon'm.
FirePower: Deficient. He doesn't appear to command much Velocity, and he certainly lacks DownField Precision. One can only hope that improved Mechanics will eventually elevate his result to something along the lines of Adequacy!!
Even so, Carden is also clearly very Intelligent, so while his Mechanics are surprisingly sketchy, he's one of those guys who'd surprise me even more if he didn't get them straightened out in time with some top level Coaching.
As such, my Trajectory for'm is considerably higher than the Skill Set that he currently brings to the table.
He'll never terrify Defenses with his Cannon of an Arm, but I believe that there's a very strong Chance that he'll significantly improve his Mechanics, becoming more consistently effective in the Short and Intermediate Passing Game, and good enough in the Long Game to keep Defenses honest. That's a calculated Risk, of course.
Should he in fact do so, I believe that Carden's greatest Strength ~ his exceptional Capacity to Rapidly Read & React to the rapidly evolving Tactical LandScape ~ will enable him to tear Defenses apart 5, 10, an 15 Yards at a time.
I believe that Shane Carden's lack of FirePower obscures the deadly Instincts of a Cold Blooded Killer: More than anyone I've yet scouted, Shane Carden has consistently and persistently demonstrated the both the Will and the Capacity to unleash whatever Weapon is best suited, at any given moment and on any given Play, to vanquish the Enemy.
Shane Carden Uses The Whole Pig.
And it's guys like him, Ladies & Laddies, who, every once in a while, come out of nowhere...and Shock the World!!
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!!