The NFL Draft rarely sees offensive guards drafted high in the first round. This year there are two prospects who have a strong chance of being picked within the first 15 selections. Both Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper enter this draft as two of the best prospects in the entire class. With the draft just a couple of days away, we are wrapping up our scouting report series on the two interior protectors.
Let's start with the powerful Alabama lineman.
This is a massive guard that possesses elite size and strength. Standing in at 6'2" and weighing 317 pounds, Warmack has a thick build that will stand out on the offensive line. Because he isn't overly tall, Warmack is able to win with leverage. His lower body strength is excellent and it allows him to stand strong against powerful defensive lineman who employ the bull rush technique.
With outstanding arm length for a guard, he can use his arms to extend and knock defenders away from the play. He also flashes power and slams the oncoming defender with a strong punch move. Warmack uses excellent technique with his hands and is only going to get better with NFL coaching and develop even more in that area.
Even though he is a large man, Warmack is actually mobile enough to pull and trap. His footwork can still use improvement, but Warmack isn't sloppy and has soft feet. He has the agility to slide from side-to-side and pass protect. Warmack looks for defenders to take out and when the opportunity arises he pancake blocks his man into next week.
Playing through the whistle is his speciality. Warmack doesn't quit on plays and brings a physical attitude and desire on nearly every single play. This is one of the strongest selling points of drafting Warmack. The team that selects him is going to get a solid all-around lineman who can instantly become a starter, but his physical presence and attitude will influence the players around him.
Another added benefit is the level of competition Warmack faced in the SEC. With 39 career starts at left guard under his belt, Warmack is seasoned and ready to play at a high level right away in his rookie season. All-American and All-SEC honors place Warmack as one of the most recognized and established lineman entering the draft.
It's difficult to find bad tape on Warmack, but he doesn't have elite speed. The lack of recovery speed means he won't be able to stop quick rushers who come on a delayed blitz. Stamina is also a concern. There have been occasions when Warmack wore down late in games. Better conditioning should help him improve later in games, but in order to become an elite NFL player he must improve in this area.
Then there is the question of all the talent around Warmack at Alabama. Did that help elevate his game and make him look better than he actually is? I don't necessarily believe that is true, but it's something to consider.
This is one of the best prospects available in the draft. Established lineman that can dominate with their power and strength in both pass protection and run blocking are always a safe way to improve your team. If he is available when Dallas goes on the clock at 18, then Warmack would be a great haul for the Cowboys because he would be an instant upgrade for them on the interior of the offensive line.
Grade: First Round (5th overall)
NFL Comparison: Carl Nicks