Draft Scout Darren Boyd
Entry #2 Guards
Despite the Cowboys’ hiring of Monte Kiffin that may redirect some of their off-season resources toward the defense, this draft scout will continue to detail draft positions in the order of need as set down in our Cowboys Autopsy after the end of the regular season. This year’s guard stock in the NFL Draft is strong to quite strong and warrants some serious consideration in the first 3 rounds. While Nate Livings proved to be somewhere between serviceable and adequate, Mackenzy Bernadeau was a drastic disappointment and needs to be sent to the bench (or the street). Much like the Mavs regretting the Tyson Chandler decision, the Cowboys may come to rue the Claiborne trade-up over taking DeCastro and Peter Konz for years to come (as I humbly predicted on Draft Day). However, all that could be relieved with a rededication to the O-Line. So let’s see what is available:
1. Chance Warmack 6'2 322 Alabama - Dominate!!! It is very rare that a Guard is considered in the top 10 Range. How rare, the last Top 5 Guard was John Hanna, also from Alabama, at the 4th pick in 1973 by the Patriots. You don't have to have a high football IQ to appreciate what Warmack did to Manti Te'o in the championship game. He has been doing this for 3 years at Bama. The man is an elite talent. He is a mauler at the point of attack during the running game. He moves very well in blocking for the pass game. The only knock I can find is arm length for pass blocking. I'm interested to see how he will measure at the Combine. Warmack is the best pure Guard prospect I’ve ever evaluated in my over 20 years of following the Draft. Cowboys would have to trade up to get him as I’d be shocked if he is not a top 15 pick.
2. Jonathan Cooper 6'3 295 UNC - This left guard caught my eye while watching film on RB Giovani Bernard. He looks very athletic but sets a good base also. I was impressed with his quickness when pulling. He gets to the 2nd level in a hurry and has a high football IQ on film. Cowboys fans would be very happy with his blocking out in space during Demarco Murray screens. Solidly rated as a 1st round talent
3. Larry Warford 6'3 340 Kentucky - He is the biggest guard of the top tier draft prospects at the position. He is a road grader at right guard. For a large man, as one would expect, looks very slow on film when pulling. Of course he looks very strong on tape. I can’t wait to see his bench and power numbers at the combine. My concern is additional weight gain at the pro level, can he keep it off and not become an Aaron Gibson. Playing at a high level in the SEC warrants a mid to late 2nd Round grade for me.
4. Alvin Bailey 6'5 315 Arkansas - He is an early entry player. Play Right Guard but could see him at Left in the NFL. He is a large man but moves pretty well for his size. In the NFL, he will need to rely on his technique more than he does now. He appears to overpower people at the college level but the pros is a different story. I view him as a late 2 or early 3 prospect
Here are a few mid to late round prospects. I take the Bill Parcells approach. He looked for guys from big programs that were healthy and played a lot. They may not have elite traits but they were durable and consistent.
Travis Bond 6'6 340 UNC - He is a beast as far as size. He played since he was a true freshman. Of course with his size, the word plodder comes to mind. On film he does use his size as an advantage but is slow, thus warrants a 4-5 round pick at right guard.
Omoregie Uzzi 6'3 305 Georgia Tech - Another right guard. He has been dinged up which goes against my theory but no major injuries. He was first team all-ACC for whatever that is worth. On film, he has a good base and is a solid run blocker but pass protection skills need improvement. He is a 4-5 round grade range
Coming up in our next post will be Offensive Tackles, as the fate of Doug Free this off-season is in doubt. Until then, send me your draft questions on twitter and give me a follow! @DarrenBoyd13