OG Larry Warford (Kentucky) - Round 3, Pick No. 65
After missing out on the top offensive tackles and passing on the top offensive guards in the first round, the Detroit Lions addressed their need for help on the O-line by taking Kentucky's Larry Warford in the third round. This pick helped fill the Lions' need at right guard, and it in turn means that Riley Reiff will be staying at left tackle going forward.
Warford attended 13 different schools growing up because his father was in the military. Ultimately, Warford ended up finishing high school in the state of Kentucky, and he attended college there as well.
What the experts are saying
Warford translated his power as a drive-blocker, unexpected foot quickness and downfield hustle into a fantastic, decorated college career - and should win his share of battles against NFL linemen when able to get his thick body moving quickly off the snap. That size, strength, and those surprising nimble feet should help him nab a draft slot in the top half of the draft and step into a starting lineup at the next level immediately.
He has excellent size and good arm length to consider as a guard. He is a good overall athlete who plays from a solid base with very good body control, balance and lower body flexibility in his play. He shows good initial quickness and extremely strong hands to sustain his run blocks upon contact. He is regularly the first Kentucky lineman to make contact with the defense on running plays, and he has good agility on the second level and as a puller around the edge. He shows flashes of being a strong finisher in his play, playing through the whistle and even looking for more contact. As a pass blocker, he shows great lateral movement skills in short areas and he displays great awareness, helping his teammates against the second level of the pass rush. He is capable of easily anchoring against strong bull rushers, almost swallowing the player entirely with a strong base. His versatility and durability are great qualities for the next level.
Warford lacks elite athleticism and foot quickness, but he is a mauler on the inside and has enough short-area agility and inline power to open holes when locked up in a phone booth. He is exactly what you're looking for in a guard in terms of size, mass and strength.
- Warford's combine workout
- Warford interview at Kentucky's pro day
- Warford interview at 2012 SEC media days
- Warford interview before draft
Outlook for 2013
Warford is expected to win the starting job at right guard in his rookie season. There is an opening there with the Lions releasing Stephen Peterman, and although Bill Nagy and Rodney Austin will also be competing for the starting spot, Warford is the favorite to win the competition for it.