In a blink of an eye, the NFL draft is now only 13 days away. All the NFL websites have their focus on the 2013 draft class and their predictions on where each player will end up. This draft class is really intriguing as there are no stand outs at each position, as there are always at least one other player who could be that number one guy at a certain position. Left tackle Luke Joeckel seems to be the favourite to be the number one pick of the draft, but many experts have Eric Fisher as the best left tackle in the 2013 class. This draft will be very interesting from the very first pick. Thankfully the St. Louis Rams don’t have to hold their breathe on hoping a quality offensive tackle will drop to the 16th position, thanks to the addition of pro bowl tackle Jake Long and with Roger Saffold seemingly willing to play out his rookie contract at the right tackle position. Rams wouldn’t have the guard position ranked number one for the biggest need, but depending on how the unpredictable draft unfolds, the Rams may find themselves stuck in a situation where they may have to bite their lips and settle for the unsexy selection in drafting a guard. To give you a better understanding on how low the 2013 draft class is for playmakers, both guards Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack are expected to be gone by the 20th pick. So if both players are available and if the Rams are interested, which standout guard do they go for?
Chance Warmack – Alabama
Guard – 6 foot 2, 320 pounds
Theres no coincidence that in 2012 Alabama has been the no.1 rushing team in the SEC. With Warmack ploughing the ways for former crimson tide running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, it’s evident that Warmack deserves to be mentioned as one of the best guards coming out of college for the last 20 years. His thick powerful frame allows him to create holes for whoever is running the ball. Doesn’t ‘wow’ you with athleticism or dazzle anyone with a blazing 40 yard dash, but he brings attitude on every down, always keeps his hands and feet pumping when drive-blocking, and looking to pancake his man whenever possible. Pushes interior defensive tackle off the ball on base blocks. Has handled with ease a number of projected first round defensive tackles. You know what Chance Warmack will bring to the table every week, a very consistent dominating interior linemen. Is projected to be a future pro bowler.
Jonathan Cooper – North Carolina
Guard – 6 foot 2. 310 pounds
What does Cooper bring to the table? Athleticism, speed, sheer power and versatility. Cooper is the most athletic guard that has come out of college for some time. At the combine Cooper ran a low of a 5 second flat 40 and also showed off his strength by benching 35 reps. Cooper has an amazing ability in pass protection, possesses foot quickness, bend, and arm extension to mirror defensive linemen. Excellent mobility behind the line, shows that he can pull to the left and right on a regular basis. Scouts believe that Coopers best attribute for the NFL is his versatility, and god knows that the Rams have had their fair share of injured linemen in that past. Coopers’ preferred postion is at guard, but he has shown in the past that he can also be just as effective at centre. With Coopers ability to pull out on runs and having outstanding pass protection skills, it would be a big surprise to see such a talent like Cooper to slip out of the first round.
Every offseason it seems that the offensive line position is in constant need of fixing. With the signing of Jake Long and Roger Saffold switching from left tackle to right tackle, all of a sudden the Rams offensive line looks pretty good on paper. Although there is a sudden upgrade at the line, the offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link, and thats the left guard position. Thankfully the 2013 NFL draft class posses the Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III for guards, in Chance Warmack (Andrew Luck) and Jonathan Cooper (RGIII). Warmack is the more traditional guard, while Cooper is the more athletic and exciting prospect. While Warmack is more pure at the guard position, Cooper brings versatility on the line. Chance Warmack is the better all round guard prospect, but It will depend on what certain teams will prefer in determining whether who will be chosen higher on draft day.