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At what positions does height matter as opposed to standing reach?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Fencer, Jan 6, 2011.

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  1. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    People talk about a couple of inches in height as they are a big deal. I would think however that in most cases, height isn't important except as proxy for:


    • How far you can reach, whether jumping or otherwise
    • How much muscle you can carry without sacrificing speed or agility

    There might be an exception for QB and to a lesser extent DL, because it's advantageous for the QB's eyes to be as far as possible above the top of a (bent in combat) DL's helmet. But otherwise I'm not seeing height as a big deal EXCEPT insofar as it's correlated with other important traits.

    What am I missing?
  2. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In most cases, height is directly related to arm length, which is extremely important for DEs and OLBs, especially since they're in a 2-gap scheme.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  3. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Arm length is also very important for OTs.

    The other thing, as the OP mentioned, is the ability to carry weight without losing athleticism. That's important for all LBs.

    Of course I think it's pretty obvious where height comes into play with QBs (seeing over OL), WRs and TEs (being bigger targets), and DBs (covering big WRs).

    So that pretty much covers almost everyone. The one position where I think height makes very little difference is RB.
  4. Snake Eyes

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    Why not just talk about arm length then, why talk about something which might or might not correlate with what you're trying to find out?
  5. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    Just so you know both Joe Thomas and Michael Roos, reputed to be among the best LTs in the league, have arms around 32 inches.
  6. Sciz

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    Because until the guys get measured, it's nearly impossible to say anything other than "he has short arms" or "he has long arms." You can quantify height before the player is even in college.

    Height is also related to arm length in that extra bulk (made possible by a larger frame) can make up for a lack of arm length in defenders.


    As for tackles, I read an article that talked about Roos and how the key to succeeding at left tackle with short arms is active hands. If you don't let the defender get his hands on you, then that advantage is gone. It seems like you wouldn't be able to do that as an OLB in the run game, though, since you pretty much have to engage the tackle if you want to set the edge.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  7. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    I was drawing a distinction between height and arm length. Taking two inches from a guy's legs (say) and adding them to his arms would be a HELP at almost every position on the field, I think, if we simplistically and implausibly assume that his muscles would still work the same way.
  8. Wretch

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    The inverse of DE and OLB may the Center position. I remember someone from the NFL Network saying last year during the draft that the center is typically the shortest OL position to allow the QB better vision over the OL.

    Of course whoever said this could have been talking out of their posterior orifice.
  9. MaineMan

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    The center typically being the shortest OL seems correct to me, tackles generally the tallest (for the arm length and maybe for stride). Probably some other advantages to being "compact" when playing center beyond the QB being able to see over you.
  10. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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  11. Snake Eyes

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  12. bucky

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    First of all, your initial post got the facts completely wrong and did not provide any backup evidence.

    Second, you obviously didn't look at the link I posted. Because if you had, you would have seen that there are only 2 of these "exceptions" in the NFL (LTs with short arms who get good results).

    Third, I'm sure you are aware that there are exceptions to every rule. We're not talking about laws of physics here.
  13. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Jake Long

    Jake Long says 'hi'.

    Also, do you think that, just maybe, if a player doesnt fit a particular mold that they won't get a chance to prove themselves, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy?

    I find it ironic that many 'experts' will claim that Tebow's height of just under 6'3 is "barely adequate" yet those same "experts" would say that Drew Brees (6ft) is one of the best QBs in the league and that Joe Montana (6'2) is one of the best of all time.
  14. SEPatsFan

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    First Montana played at a different time, he came into the league 30 years ago, players are bigger in every dimension now, in the late '70s Montana's height was probably a positive, now it would be looked at as a negative.

    There are players that break molds, there always have, but they tend to be exceptional in some other way. Quickness, strength, intelligence, work ethic.

    You started this thread asking "At what positions does height matter as opposed to standing reach?", which at it's core is a flawed question. In the human anatomy, wingspan is directly proportional to height, +/- an inch or so generally. To find a 6'0 LT with the arms of a 6'6 person would be great, assuming they had all of the other baseline traits; the fact is prototypes exist for a reason.

    SSDD
  15. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    So why is it that Brees has emerged as an elite QB and how Vick is the likely runner-up for MVP in this age of bigger players?

    There are players that break molds, there always have, but they tend to be exceptional in some other way. Quickness, strength, intelligence, work ethic.

    I didnt start this thread, and yes, there is a reason why a prototype exists, it just might not be a good one, correlation vs. causation and all.
  16. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    I think you have your facts wrong. Guys do come into the draft with arm lengths several inches different from other guys with the same height.

    It's famously an issue in basketball -- e.g. Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, who besides being conventionally tall had long arms for their height as well.
  17. unoriginal

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    Theoretically you want your offensive lineman to have as long a reach as possible while being as short as possible. Interior lineman should be shorter and can give up a little wingspan.

    Ryan Clady I believe has a freakish wingspan.
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