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2013 NFL Draft: Chance Warmack of Alabama Making a Case for Taking a Guard Early

February 9th, 2013 at 8:08 PM
By Donald Lappe

One of the factors that can impact where a player falls in the NFL Draft is the value of the position. Positions with lots of talent available, like running back, or in spots that can be covered up to an extent, like offensive guard, tend to be undervalued early on. The idea is that high draft picks should be used on rare commodities. Franchise quarterbacks, left tackles and big-time pass rushers don't often become available on the free agent market. Sometimes a player with exceptional ability can break through that barrier and put his name at the top of the heap despite his position. Alabama guard Chance Warmack is attempting to do just that in the 2013 NFL Draft.

For the most part, NFL teams cycle through guards quite a bit. Rarely do guards get a big payday, with the most famous example being Steve Hutchinson with the Minnesota Vikings. The premier position on the offensive line is the left tackle spot. Generally, the left tackle is the team's best pass protector, the right tackle is the better run blocker of the two tackles, the right guard is the better run blocker of the two guards, the center helps set the protection and the left guard is… the left guard. It's obviously an over-simplification and a generalization, but guards aren't even glorified amongst their not-so-glamorous linemates. That's why so few are drafted in the first round.

This season, Alabama guard Chance Warmack is making the case not only to be drafted in the first round, but early on in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft. Anyone who watched the Crimson Tide knows they featured the best offensive line in the country. Even if you just watched them steamroll Manti Te'o and the Notre Dame defensive in the BCS National Championship Game, you had to be impressed with the talent Alabama featured along their massive offensive line. Chance Warmack was a big part of that.

At 6'2", 322, Chance Warmack is a powerful run blocker with extremely long arms. He's an offensive line coach's dream, powerful enough to consistently dig out massive down linemen, able to climb to the second level and take on linebackers and also agile enough to pull and trap. Chance Warmack plays with an attitude, a necessity up front with the big dogs. He constantly keeps his hands and feet moving and rolls his hips on contact, generating tons of power.

That doesn't mean there's nothing to improve. Chance Warmack does need to work on playing low consistently. His feet aren't especially quick, so he can have trouble with quicker defensive linemen. Probably wouldn't be able to transition out to right tackle in the NFL, which leaves his value as an interior lineman and sparking the discussion we mentioned earlier.

Chance Warmack will likely be a mid-to-late first round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. He is one of the best talents in the entire draft, but his position will keep him out of the Top 10. Whichever team does grab Chance Warmack will be getting an impact player from day one on the offensive line.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Alabama, Chance Warmack, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, NFL Draft, Notre Dame

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