It's strange to see a player that was a three time All-SEC performer not be considered at the top of his position in the NFL Draft, but that's exactly what we find in Kentucky offensive guard, Larry Warford. Warford was an amazing player on a very bad football team, which always makes standing out tougher. He played basketball in high school up until his Junior year, which speaks well towards his athleticism. He lined up primarily at right guard for the Wildcats during his four years in Lexington.
He is clearly the third best offensive guard in this draft behind Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina and Chance Warmack from Alabama (Roll Tide), but how far behind them is he? How good is Larry Warford?
- Massive. Came in at 6' 3" 332 at the combine. He has a thick, strong lower frame. Also has good arm length at 33 3/8".
- Quick feet. Helps him in pass protection to mirror his man.
- Great pass blocker.
- Immovable object.
- Good pop to his punch. Plays with an attitude.
- Strong at the point of attack.
- Has enough quickness to lead the RB on power plays.
- He is massive, but doesn't look to be in the best shape. Even though offensive linemen are supposed to be large men, they aren't necessarily supposed to have as much body fat as Warford. He may benefit from shedding some fat and building some more muscle to increase his explosiveness.
- Lack explosiveness out of his stance. Despite his size, he's not a good option to run behind on dives or in short yardage.
- Doesn't really drive defenders off the ball. He can turn them and that makes lanes for the RB, but he rarely will move his man backwards.
- Slow. Struggles to get to the second level on running plays.
Warford is going to be a good right guard in the NFL. I wouldn't play him at left guard in most offenses because of his lack of foot speed. He's not as good of a run blocker as I would like given his size, but he is still very effective in the run game. He's just not overpowering in it. Where he is incredible is in pass protection. He will not be bull rushed upon. His quick feet also allow him to mirror pass rushers well. Watch his game against Missouri. He shut down one of the top draft prospects, Sheldon Richardson.
I have him as a high-mid 2nd round pick. The St. Louis Rams should strongly consider Larry Warford in the draft if they are not able to pick up either Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack in the first round. One of the major problems for the Rams last season was Sam Bradford's inability to step up in the pocket. Warford would come in and be a tremendous help in pass protection for St. Louis. It may also allow them to cut aging veteran Harvey Dahl, which would free up needed cap room for the team to sign their draft picks and possibly bring in another quality free agent.