Smile Larry! You got drafted!
With the 2013 edition of the NFL draft in the books, analysts around the country have had a chance to do what they do best: sit back and judge others (we’re alike that way). If I had a dollar for each variation of a “Grading the Draft” post I’ve seen today, well, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post right now. But sifting through all of these articles has an upside- a common theme seems to be that the Lions lucked out by getting Larry Warford in the third round.
As the fourth guard taken in the draft (three were taken in the first, none in the second), Warford slipped to a couple of slots below where most people predicted he would go- unfortunate for Larry, but a great pickup for the Lions. Rant Sports, who gave the pick an A and called it possibly their favorite pick that the Lions made, said it best:
Warford is a big offensive lineman. Mike Mayock, of the NFL Network praised Warford prior to the draft saying, “This is one of my favorite football players in the draft. You want to talk about a big, square, stout son of a gun. This is him. Every tape I put on, he was dominant.”
At Kentucky, Warford played 47 games. Warford started the last 37 games at right guard for the Wildcats. The SEC has been considered the best conference in NCAA Football for some time, meaning Warford faced the best defensive ends in the nation week in and out during the season. In the 2013 Senior Bowl, Warford also showed his skills blocking some of the best defensive players in the nation. At Kentucky, Warford also saw his stock rise by allowing zero sacks in his senior season.
The blog notes that Larry needs to work on second blocks as well as blocking downfield, but he’s deceptively quick and has a high ceiling. All things considered, he’s expected to be an immediate contributor and will compete for a starting right side spot. Not too shabby, Larry.