Javonte Williams Injury/ Recovery Analysis

On Sunday, Javonte Williams suffered an injury to his right knee, reportedly tearing his ACL, his LCL, and suffering a nonspecified injury to his posterior lateral corner. In other words, he tore the ligaments stabilizing his knee along the anterior and the lateral posterior. And the bundle of ligaments and tendons at the posterior lateral corner of his knee was also destabilized (this generally means that the tibia and femur can be separated side to side along that posterior lateral axis).

So what do the underlying biomechanics say about this injury and about Javonte Williams’s likelihood of returning to the same pre-injury level of play?

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Randy Gregory and an Examination of ‘Burst’

In order to understand Randy Gregory’s somewhat unusual biomechanical makeup, it’s helpful to first inspect an often-used but little-described football term: ‘burst’. What is burst? If you’ve watched football, you’ve seen it– that extra bit of explosion, where the running back suddenly erupts through the line, or when a WR running down the sidelines sprints all-out to make it to the end zone. But what is it? What is the underlying mechanism that allows a person to suddenly maximize their physical output– to red-line their engine?

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Impressions: Young Ascending Skill Position Players

At the encouragement of Nick Korte (the maestro running the show here at the Thin Air Network), this article is an attempt to identify various young players who have not yet reached their NFL potential. Whose talent currently outstrips their role. In many cases this is because they are rookies, and in some cases it’s because they have been buried on depth charts or otherwise put in disadvantageous positions. However, these projections will be taking the long view– many of these players (particularly the rookies) won’t reach their full potential for years. Nevertheless, for fantasy football players looking for long-term investments (for dynasty/ keeper leagues), or for those interested in a somewhat more shallow biomechanical take on various young players, this article may be of use.

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Drew Lock, Zach Wilson, and Large-scale NFL Trends

Over the past year, much biomechanical study has gone into quarterbacks, trying to determine the baseline physical requirements of the position. At the risk of stating the obvious, quarterbacks are both the most important players in football, and also the hardest to project in transition from college to the NFL. So a method of predicting NFL quarterback success by analyzing college level biomechanical efficiency– if reliable– would be highly useful.

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Biomechanical Draft Review 2022: Rounds 2- 5

The first 5 rounds of Denver’s 2022 draft showed a very different emphasis from the 2021 draft. Where in 2021 the focus seemed to be on drafting powerful players who could contribute to improving the physicality/ toughness of the roster, in 2022 players seemed to be selected more for specific high level skills. In terms of biomechanical orientation, 5 of the first 6 drafted players are medial centric anterior dominant, which as a gross generalization is often characterized by superior control and quickness. Greg Dulcich is the only player on this list to show a different orientation, and it is still anterior dominant (lateral oriented). Overall then, these players are generally more characterized by finesse and control than by toughness and strength. However, Paton and co still seem to have done an excellent job overall in finding top tier athletes to draft. And this draft will likely present several immediate impact players in important roles.

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UDFA Showcase: Ja’Quan McMillian

Hi guys, before we get to the impressions of Denver’s 2022 draft class, I wanted to highlight an UDFA gem (and one of Denver’s 30 pre-draft visitations), CB Ja’Quan McMillian. Let me start by saying that, at this moment, McMillian is likely Denver’s very best rookie CB, and not by a close margin (Mathis has perhaps greater long-term potential, and will be discussed separately)**. This is because McMilian (who was PFF’s top rated cover corner in 2021) shows a very rare trait for a DB– full efficiency in his posterior medial lumbar areas. This full lumbar efficiency gives McMillian the ability to mirror and shift his hips to match with his assigned cover at an extremely high level, even as his baseline speed/ strength appear somewhat underwhelming.

**Edit 5/14/22: This statement was based on early study of Mathis and Hicks– later more detailed study showed that Mathis (and perhaps Hicks) would likely out-play McMillian even if the season started immediately (May 2022)

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