Larry Warford Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Kentucky OG
Third Round: 65th Pick
Larry Warford has operated under the radar while at Kentucky, but the massive, four-year starter at guard finally began getting some notice leading up to the Senior Bowl.
While he doesn’t have the incredible drive-blocking ability of Chance Warmack, the length and strength of DJ Fluker, or the one-in-a-generation movement skills Jonathan Cooper shows, Warford is a well-rounded prospect who does a number of things very well.
A hulking guard with surprisingly nimble feet, he figures to be selected on the second day for some team that needs help on the interior.
+ Surprisingly mobile and good in space
+ Good bulk and adequate strength for the position
+ Well rounded
- Short arms with a soft punch
- Inflexible and leans into his blocks
- Lacks quickness out of his stance
Tools ( +/- )
A wide-bodied offensive guard whose build more closely resembles a nose tackle than an offensive lineman, Warford isn’t the type of player to wow in shorts or workouts. However, on tape Warford shows to be surprisingly nimble and agile—constantly leading the way in space for Kentucky’s run and screen game.
A four-year starter for Kentucky who also served as a captain this past year, Warford has no known character concerns.
Ketucky ran a ball-control, run-oriented offense featuring a split of shotgun and under-center formations (slightly favoring shotgun).
While Warford isn’t the same caliber athlete as Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina), Kentucky featured Warford’s movement skills, asking him to pull, kick out, trap and lead the runner through the hole often.
Pass Blocking ( + )
Since the Kentucky passing game was limited, Warford didn’t have very many opportunities to show off his deep pass set. Most of their pass plays come off of run action, with Warford either pulling or firing hard off the line of scrimmage. On the rare occasions he did get to make a deep set in pass protection, he showed quick enough feet to gain depth without getting his shoulders turned.
He tends to bend at the waist instead of the knees and hips, suggesting some inflexibility. He also shows a good anchor against the bull rush. That's not surprising, considering his girth.
Run Blocking ( + )
Warford was a major cog to the Kentucky running game, often clearing the way as the lead blocker on pulls.
He plays a bit tall off the snap and tends to lean after making contact, often preferring to be a position blocker instead of using his bulk and strength to drive defenders off the ball like he’s capable of. When he does decide to dig in and root his man out, though, he shows the capability of resetting the line of scrimmage, driving his man back into the second level.
Blocking In Space/Recovery ( + )
The passing game at Kentucky was poor for the most part, and they used a creative run game with lots of pulling action to help offset that—along with a heavy dose of screens. Warford has heavily featured in this, often leading runners to daylight in the open field.
His feet are light enough to pull and lead in short areas in the NFL, but he does struggle readjusting to moving targets once his momentum is carrying him. He tends to cut on the second level or while on the move instead of landing cleaner or more engulfing blocks.
Handfighting/Technique ( + )
Despite being agile relative to his size, Warford gets off the ball slowly and takes a while to build momentum and get going.
Warford doesn't have an overwhelmingly strong or devastating punch, but he does fire his hands quickly off the snap for the most part in pass pro. His hand use is more inconsistent in the run game, where he'll occasionally blocks with his forearms instead of getting his hands into the defenders’ chest. He also has a bad habit of getting tall off the snap and then leaning on his target, getting complacent with walling the defender off with his size.
Because Warford takes some time to get going, he’s probably not going to appeal to zone-blocking teams.
Teams that run more man schemes, featuring lots of downblock-and-pulls and using size to overwhelm the line of scrimmage will likely covet him beginning at the end of the second round to the beginning of the third round.
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