- DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 43. OG Larry Warford, Kentucky (6-3, 332, 4SR)...He'll get himself in trouble when he overextends, but Warford moves extremely well for a man his size, blocking well in motion and anchoring in pass protection. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
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For most, the University of Kentucky will always be a "basketball school." While the Wildcats' football team certainly has a long way to go before challenging its hoopster counterparts, the team quietly has produced a number of solid NFL prospects in recent years, including Green Bay wide receiver Randall Cobb, Buffalo wide receiver Stevie Johnson and Denver tight end Jacob Tamme. While Warford hasn't produced the gaudy statistics of his pass-catching predecessors, he's consistently proven himself a standout against SEC competition.
Warford ended his Kentucky career having played in 47 games, including starting the last 37 consecutively. Conferences coaches recognized him with a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team in 2009 and he earned Second Team all-league honors each of the next two years.
Warford saved his best for last, however. He did not allow a single sack in 2012 and was the first Kentucky offensive lineman to earn AP All-American recognition since Warren Bryant was recognized in 1976.
Considering his frame and experience, Warford may get looks at center as well as his customary right guard position by scouts. Warford's girth and inconsistent footwork are concerns but he's likely to challenge for a spot among the top 100 picks. That would be quite the accomplishment considering the last Kentucky offensive linemen selected in the NFL Draft was guard Todd Perry, who the Chicago Bears selected in the fourth round back in 1993.
STRENGTHS: Possesses a short, squatty frame with broad shoulders, making him difficult for defensive tackles to slip past when he's in pass protection. Surprising balance and lateral agility in pass protection, showing the ability to slide in either direction. Strong hands which he uses to grab hold of the chest plate of the defender and pull him in close, negating any quickness or arm-length advantage the defender might have. Shows good awareness to handle surprise blitzes and the competitiveness to finish off defenders he sees off-balance. At least adequate initial quickness when getting out to pull. Uses his girth and impressive initial explosive pop to knock defenders off the ball.
WEAKNESSES: Carries too much weight around his middle. Slow, even for a man of his size. Lacks the straight-line speed to consistently get to the second level in time to make blocks on the move. Drops his head at times, making him vulnerable to swim moves by quicker defensive tackles.
COMPARES TO: Uche Nwaneri, OG, Jacksonville Jaguars -- With a similar body-type, mauling style and level of durability, Warford could join Nwaneri as a dependable starter in the NFL.