The Detroit Lions missed out on the run of offensive lineman in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. With three of the first four picks, offensive lineman were drafted. The Lions, with the fifth overall selection, chose to pursue a different need in defensive end instead.
By passing on offensive linemen in the first round, the Lions also showed their confidence in Riley Reiff to play left tackle. With the retirement of Jeff Backus and departure of two other offensive lineman, the Lions were left with more holes to fill. In the third round of the draft, the Lions filled one of those openings with a very talented guard.
Larry Warford, a guard from Kentucky University, was taken with the 65thoverall pick in the draft. Despite being listed by CBS Sports as a second round pick, Warford slipped into the third round.Completing the run on offensive linemen, three guards were taken in the first round Warford was actually the fourth guard taken in the draft, as none were taken in the second round.
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.
Warford is big and will need to improve on second blocks and getting out to provide blocking downfield. However, several highlight videos show Warford to be quicker in game than he looks and his combine stats showed.
This is possibly my favorite pick the Lions made in the 2013 NFL Draft. My full grades will be out soon for all of the Lions picks, but this one looks like a clear A.