1. Chance Warmack, OG – Alabama Crimson Tide – Top 15 Projection
Warmack is an absolute mauler. This guy gets his hands on opposing defenders and drives them so far out of a play that they have not the slightest opportunity to come near the play. Was a bit underwhelming in the Combine and Alabama Pro Day, but Top 10 talents usually play it safe and rest on their field play alone. Warmack will make some teams running game very valuable. Warmack is also an above average pass blocker who plays with good pad level, is nimble on his feet, and has a powerful punch.
2. Jonathon Cooper, C/OG – North Carolina Tarheels – Top 20 Projection
On many boards, Cooper has made the jump over Chance Warmack. I believe the deciding factor in those making that claim has been the work ethic that Cooper has had in the Senior Bowl Practices/Game, the Combine and Pro Day. Warmack seems to have rested on his play alone & has shown a bit of a lack in effort. Cooper can play both Center and Guard at a high level and will be drafted in the first round. Cooper’s an explosive and athletic player who does everything at a high level. My only knock on Cooper is an inconsistency of playing high at times, allowing himself to lose his anchor and get pushed back into the pocket.
3. Justin Pugh, OG/T – Syracuse Orangemen – Late 1st / Early 2nd Round Projection
Pugh had a very good college career, minus a few injuries. Plays with a natural bend and good pad level, possesses excellent footwork from his time as a LT, keeps head on a swivel with good recognition skills. Does pretty well in run blocking but needs to keep his hands inside, as he has a tendency to be a grabber, leaving his chest exposed for an opposing DT to get under his pads. Does a good job of re-anchoring in scenario’s where he is knocked off balance and back on his heels. Pugh has short arms, much shorter than what teams are looking for in a Tackle, making him an obvious transition to an inline blocker.
4. Larry Warford, OG – Kentucky Wildcats – Round 2/3 Projection
I have to admit, I am a very faithful Big Blue fan…. Yes, even a UK Football Fan! With that said, regardless of fandom, Larry Warford is one of my favorite players in this draft. Warford is a technician of the Guard position and possesses many of the traits that you want to see in a Guard transitioning to the NFL. Though surrounded by very little in the way of talent, Warford excels in every category. He plays with an excellent bend, keeps his hands inside the defender and packs a powerful punch. Possesses very good footwork in pass protection, and keeps his head on a swivel to stay alert in his recognition. Warford is also explosive off the snap, knocking defenders off the ball and hitting the second level with a nasty demeanor. If the Browns do not want to spend a 1st on a Guard, Warford would be a perfect addition to the Right Guard position, adding to an already talented OL.
5. Kyle Long, OG – Oregon Ducks – Potential Late 1st/ Early-Mid 2nd Projection
I am not a big fan of Long, but he does have some positives. First and foremost, the main reason Long is even ranked is his being the son of Howie Long and the brother of Chris Long. Did not start playing football until his sophomore year of HS, chose to pursue baseball and stopped playing football. Flunked out of FSU and got a DUI at the same time. Seems to have straightened up since, but it does speak to his character and how he handles adversity.
Long is definitely no sure thing as he is still raw and leaning on his athletic ability and overall potential. He is strong, long, and athletic. He is quick off the snap but inconsistent with his footwork. Having an awkward size for an inline blocker, Long plays with an inconsistent pad level which causes him to get knocked off balance at times, but he does a good job re-anchoring, as he is rarely seen on the ground. Long will go ahead of Warford and possibly ahead of Pugh based purely off his name and upside.
Mid/Late Round Watchlist:
Dan Quessenberry, OG – San Jose State – Anywhere from Mid 3rd to Mid 5th
Brian Winters, OG – Kent State – Late 3rd to Late 4th
Eric Herman, OG – Ohio Bobcats – Anywhere from Late 4th to Early 6th
Omoregie Uzzi, ,OG – Georgia Tech – Under the radar type that could jump draft day or go where most expect, Mid 6th to UDFA.