Kentucky offensive guard Larry Warford came into and out of the Senior Bowl as the third best guard prospect in the 2013 class of players, but in such an atypical year for guards, he may be the third one selected in the first round.
According to Russ Lande of the National Football Post, and one of my favorite Draft analysts out there, there is no doubt left that Warford will be a first round selection come time for April’s draft:
9. Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky (6032, 333 and 5.25 E): Many have already conceded the top guard spot to Alabama’s Chance Warmack, but Warford did everything he could this week to close the gap and get into the discussion. Surprisingly quick out of stance, Warford sets up to block with excellent base/leverage fast and gets his “heavy hands” on the defensive tackle fast. Throughout the week Georgia defensive tackle made it look easy bull rushing all the other interior offensive linemen backwards, but Warford consistently stopped him in his tracks and kept him pinned on the LOS. After his display this week, there is no doubt that Warford will be a first round pick because he will be a day one starter.
That’s a pretty glowing recommendation for a guard from a school that hasn’t had an offensive lineman drafted since 1993, and a position that rarely has multiple players drafted in the first round. Last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Stanford All-American David DeCastro in the later portion of the first round, but I had considered him to be easily a top ten overall player in his class.
This year, players such as Alabama’s Chance Warmack have been ranked as high as third on overall big boards around the web. We can’t forget about North Carolina’s stud guard Johnathan Cooper, who is also slated to be a first round pick. At this point, it looks as though we could have three first round picks at the guard position in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Warford may have been one of the biggest winners in this year’s group of players with his performance in Mobile.