Chris Naeole was taken with the 10th pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. The reason that piece of trivia is important is because it was the last time a guard was taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. The 2013 NFL Draft may challenge the ’97 draft with Alabama’s Chance Warmack.
Warmack is a special talent at a position that is often overlooked. 2012 gave us a top notch guard prospect in David DeCastro but Warmack is far superior as a prospect to DeCastro. Warmack is equally effective in the run and pass game and should challenge as a top 10 guard selection. I would look for Warmack to buck the trend of guard positioning in the draft as he could go as high as 4 to Philadelphia (unlikely) and I can’t see him falling further than 16 to the Rams. It would be a mild surprise if Warmack was available by the 16th pick as I’ve routinely mocked him to the Titans at No. 10.
After gloating about Warmack, we make our way to another first round guard prospect in Jonathan Cooper. Cooper is a solid athlete that, like Warmack, is solid in both the run and pass game. The talent after Warmack and Cooper doesn’t drop off with guys like Larry Warford, David Quessenberry, and David Bakhtiari holding down the fort. The kicker is that some tackle prospects (Dallas Thomas, Kyle Long, and Justin Pugh) could figure into teams plans at the guard position. When looking at all the possibilities this is a fairly strong guard class.
After the break check out our 2013 NFL Draft guard rankings.
|2||JONATHAN COOPER||NORTH CAROLINA||6027||310|
|4||DAVID QUESSENBERRY||SAN JOSE ST||6050||294|
|6||BRIAN WINTERS||KENT STATE||6034||310|
|9||OMOREGIE UZZI||GEORGIA TECH||6027||302|
|12||LANE TAYLOR||OKLAHOMA STATE||6030||326|
|13||EARL WATFORD||JAMES MADISON||6036||300|
|14||OSCAR JOHNSON||LOUISIANA TECH||6054||339|
|15||GARRETT GILKEY||CHADRON ST||6057||314|
|22||LAMAR MADY||YOUNGSTOWN ST||6023||314|
|25||EDMUND KUGBILA||VALDOSTA ST||6050||347|