Larry Warford   OG   Kentucky

TALENT BOARD ROUND  3

 

STRENGTHS

Larry might be one of the better pass blocking right guards I have seen in a long time.  He is a powerful blocker and handles a bull rush as well as any guard that I have seen in a while.  In a small space, he has solid athleticism and shows excellent mental toughness.  This kid is solid blocking for the run and, inside the red zone, he seems to get even better blocking in both the run game and the passing game.  Larry does an excellent job using his hands and controlling his opponent when pass blocking.  He is a perfect fit for a team that uses a lot of zone blocking schemes when running the ball because once this kid gets his hands on you, you're done.  He has some decent lateral agility and works well with his teammates.  He is smart and deals very well with stunts and blitzing players.  Larry's ability to pass block will open up the playbook for a pass happy team.  His timing on his combo blocks is really nice and, close to the end zone, this type of blocking is imperative for a guard when run blocking.  Larry is the type of blocking offensive lineman who shines inside the red zone because the smaller the space to block in, the more dominant he becomes.  He is confident about his talents and never stops blocking until he hears the whistle.  Larry gets stronger as the game goes on.  He is the type of right guard you find in the playoffs every year and will become a core player for the team that drafts him. 

 

CONCERNS

You can use Larry in a quick pulling game from guard to guard, but the truth is, using Larry to pull and block for sweeps is asking too much of his athletic talent.  He will get out for screen plays, but once again, blocking in open space is not his forte. The further he runs, the more his blocking techniques break down and he struggles to make his blocks.  He can get out to the second level as long as the second level is coming to him as he makes his move.  But as I said, his timing for combo blocks is excellent and at times makes up for his inability to move out quickly to the second level and block a linebacker in open space.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Larry is a solid offensive lineman who will shine in a zone blocking scheme used to run the ball.  Against a 4-3 defense, a good center can slide and block Larry's man and then Larry can slide to help the right tackle which will allow pass catching tight ends to be free off the line and into their routes more quickly.  Also, because Larry is stout against a bull rush, the middle of the pocket will be open for your quarterback to slide or step up into the pocket and get away from that quick pass rusher who might beat the left or right tackle around the ends. As far as I can tell, Larry has not played the center position, but personally, I would love to see if he could.  I suspect his lack of foot speed and true lateral agility in space would be a problem, but it would be smart to see if he could play multiple positions.  Larry is the type of offensive lineman most fans will take for granted and although he fits a scheme and is not adept at all the skills and athleticism of the guard position, he is very good at what he does.  I think if your team is smart and if they play the offensive line system that Larry will impact in, you can't lose drafting him in whatever round you want to. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013