Originally Posted by pricejj
I disagree on this point MUG....Paea got knocked for his "short arms" a couple years ago (32")...that's when I started thinking alot about it. When it comes to Defensive Lineman, it's all about beating an Offensive Linemane one-on-one. This comes down to:
1. Athleticism - For both DT's and DE's athleticsm is a combination of foot speed (3-cone, forty), strength (bench press), and vert. The Defensive Lineman has to be faster, and stronger than the Offensive Lineman he faces...or else he will rarely win a on-on-one matchup. I look for fast 3-cones, and DT's who can push up 225 lbs. more than 30 times. A forty about 5.0 is good, and at least an average vert for his position group.
2. Physical Dimensions - Arm length is very important for a DT, moreso than for a DE. Whereas a good DE has the footspeed to run around an Offensive tackle, or juke, spin move...a DT is heftier and generally has less footspeed. With longer arms a DT can prevent himself from being controlled out of the play by an Offensive Lineman. A DT with good height (~6'5") can hold more mass than a shorter guy without it affecting his athleticism. It's like a boxing match, where a taller opponent with longer arms will beat a short, short-armed opponent every time (Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, Klitscko bro's). Short-armed DT's are rarely stand-out players in the NFL.
3. Effort - This is self-explanatory. A superior DT will have a variety of moves, great hand-fighting skills, and show consistent effort on every play. A player who takes plays off (for whatever reason), won't have as much production as he should. Production is a very important factor when I look at DT's. Have they consistently produced at the college level? Have they shown improvement every year, or have they leveled off?
In conclusion, having longer arms benefits a DT, while having shorter arms (32") is not optimal. NFL scouts will definitely knock a guy down at least 10-15 spots for having 32" arms (Stephen Paea, Mike Martin).
Do me a favor though, do not place your opinion so much on physical assets. Way too many people uses the objective physical measures as a place to start in the evaluation process. You care way too much about arm length because some evaluators think it actually matters technique wise. In the trenches, its all about mentality. In fact, at the professional level, its all about mentality.
It is not simply good enough to be physically gifted, you have to apply that gift on the field. The best predictor of future performance is simply past performance. If the player could not win in college, he is not going to suddenly develop in the pros.
Case in point is your fascination with defending Rahim Moore. You keep saying he improved dramatically this year as a FS, when he really only improved as a tackler. And even then, he had some real headscratcher moments as the season went on.
He is not a good deep coverage safety right now after 2 full seasons in the NFL, because he has never learned the right technique to play the deep ball. People could not get the ball deep on DEN for most of the year because they feared the pass rush. However, he still had some real poor technique on film when you watch him. He does not do the little things right and occasionally, he does everything wrong like he did in the Playoff game with his total disregard of how to play that situation.
Moore has all the physical tools to play Safety at this level, but he has a real poor mentality and I am not comfortable at all having him play FS. It is not like he makes up for those errors with big plays.
Go deeper with your evaluations. Watch them execute technique in big games if you can. See if they show up when it matters, and not just dominate stats against lesser competition.
In know you care about the draft and I know you spend a ton of time on it. Just try and go deeper please. In the end, its all you can really do to be original in your asessements.