Monday, February 4, 2013

Prospect Profile: OG Larry Warford - Kentucky

Name:  Larry Warford
Height:  6' - 3" (Senior Bowl #)
Weight:  333 lbs. (Senior Bowl #)
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Richmond, KY (born in San Diego, CA)
Date of Birth:  6/18/1991 (21 years old)
High School:  Madison Central HS

Wildcat Career:

2012 Senior Season:  3rd Team AP All-American at OG, Consensus 2nd Team All-SEC.  Started all 12 games at RG, finishing off a career with 37 consecutive starts, while playing in 47 games overall as a 4 year player for UK.  Helped an embattled UK squad move the ball consistently, UK Running Backs gained 4.9 yds/carry on the season.  Began the season on Lombardi and Outland Trophy watch lists.

2011 Junior Season:  Consensus 2nd Team All-SEC selection.  Started every game for the Wildcats at RG.  Lead the team with 34 knockdowns and earned an 87.5% average for the season.  Was named to the Outland and Lombardi Trophy watch lists during the year as the Nation's best lineman.  Helped Kentucky beat rival Tennessee for the first time in 26 seasons.

2010 Sophomore Season:  Consensus 2nd Team All-SEC selection.  Started every game for UK at Right Guard.  Warford had 43 knockdown blocks on the season (team high) while helping UK to a 2nd best SEC finish in sacks allowed.  Blocked for Randall Cobb in a season where Cobb set the SEC's all-time single season mark for all-purpose yards (2,396).

2009 Freshman Season:  Named to Coach's SEC All-Freshman Team.  Played in 10 games for UK, mostly at Right Guard.

2012 Senior Season Highlights (#67 playing RG):

2011 Junior Season (#67 playing RG):

2010 Sophomore Season (#67 playing RG):

Positives (+):
+ Massive, thumping, mauling right guard prospect with Samoan blood
Adequate in pulls, uses his mass and creates running space quickly after impact in the hole
Consistently dominant in the Power run game, wins majority of one-on-ones
Excellent in pass pro, fills up a lot of space and has strong punch
Has one of the best anchors in college football, showed it off at Senior Bowl week, walling off Georgia's massive Nose Tackle John Jenkins numerous times
Uses his size like a bully, loves to lean into contact and maul whenever he can
Shows a decent ability to reach block, locking his hands inside and rotating his center to the strong side of the play, agile feet for a big man
Uses what arm length he has in pass pro very well, extends into pass rushers early and keeps them away from his body
Raises game to level of competition, had two of his better games vs. Florida's Sharrif Floyd and Mizzou's Sheldon Richardson

Negatives (-):
- Conditioning needs some work, while his mass is an asset, it works against him later in games
Limited athletically, can get lost in space chasing down defenders to block
Speedy inside rushers can give him trouble in pass pro
4 extensive years of SEC play leave a lot of wear on a body
Probably limited to Right Guard only in the NFL
Average at best in zone and stretch plays, struggles to keep up with defenders down the line

NFL Analysis:
A team looking for a mauling right guard in the NFL Draft need not look further than Warford.  He does Right Guard very well, but it's also likely that's all he'll offer to the NFL.  His draft stock has solidified into the late 2nd to the early 3rd Round after his solid week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.  Warford demonstrates good overall game in a Power Blocking Scheme...he mauls in the run game and shows very good skills in pass pro for a man of his size.  Warford will likely be a mid to late Day 2 pick, but a team with a very specific RG need may go for him in the Top 50 picks.

Outlook as a Raider:
Barring a trade down, 2nd Round pick gained scenario, the Raiders likely have Larry Warford high on their Round 3 list.  Currently, the Raiders own the No. 66 Overall pick...a good spot to take a position of need.  What about Brisiel?  While Brisiel did just sign a 4 year contract, it's clear that in a Power scheme, of which Greg Olson is said to favor, Brisiel will be very average.  Brisiel is also coming off a 2011 with Houston in which he was battling a bad leg injury...and in 2012 with an ankle, an ankle he just had surgery on.  A guy like Warford would help solidify any flux at the RG position...either taking the RG spot altogether or forcing Tony Bergstrom, Lucas Nix or Mike Brisiel out, either positionally (Berg plays some LG and RT) or off the team entirely.

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