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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
2013 NFL Draft Reports: Guards & Centers
By Matt Horkman

Guards

1. Chance Warmack, Alabama
Warmack was a first-team All-American in 2012. He’s a good pass protector and athletic enough to get to the next level in the running game. He paved the way for Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy at Alabama. There’s some modest concerns regarding his height (he’s only 6-2), but nothing significantly detrimental to his game. He’s a coveted player, who you can plug into your starting lineup on day one.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Cowboys, Jets, Chargers, & Titans

2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
Cooper is a big-bodied, strong first-round guard. At the combine, he did 30-plus reps of 225 on the bench. He’s a four-year starter, who is very agile despite weighing 311 pounds. Like Warmack, his lack of height (6-2) is somewhat overstated. He does a great job of pulling in the run game, and is excellent in protecting the quarterback.

Possible Destinations: Bears, Cowboys, Giants, Chargers, & Titans

3. Brian Winters, Kent State
Winters didn’t play against high-level competition, but he more than held his own at the Senior Bowl. He’s quick out of his stance, and gets to the second level with ease. His arms are too short to play tackle, so he’ll kick inside and play guard, where he has the toughness and athleticism to start. He plays with a nasty streak and is a finisher.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Jets, Giants, Ravens, & Steelers

4. Kyle Long, Oregon
A college tackle, Long could kick inside and earn a starting role as a guard. He has a big enough frame to possibly bulk up, assuming he does move inside. He’s the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and the brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long. He lacks experience, so he’s still raw, but his natural size and athleticism gives him a high ceiling.

Possible Destinations: Cowboys, Eagles, Raiders, Rams, & Titans

5. Larry Warford, Kentucky
With natural size, Warford should have no problem earning an opportunity to start in the NFL. He’s a brick wall, so he routinely wins the matchup once he gets his hands on a defender. He’s also a mauler in the running game.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Jets, Chargers, Cowboys, & Rams

6. Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Thomas played left tackle in 2010 an 2011. He converted to guard in 2012 and earned second-team All-SEC honors. He plays with a nasty streak and does a great job of getting to the second level in the running game. He’ll immediately compete for playing time.

Possible Destinations: Bears, Bills, Jets, Cowboys, & Raiders

7. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
Outstanding experience, durability, and strength make Bailey a potential starting guard. He actually started every game of his college career, playing on both the left and right sides. His hand placement and footwork need work, but a good coach can clean that up.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Jets, Cowboys, Panthers, & Raiders

8. Oday Aboushi, Virginia
A college left tackle. Aboushi projects as a starting NFL guard in the pros. He lacks the footwork to play left tackle and the natural athleticism to slow down edge rushers. Despite his underwhelming bench numbers, he plays the game powerful and is physical at the point of attack.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Bears, Patriots, Panthers, & Raiders

9. Hugh Thornton, Illinois
Thornton’s story is one of tragedy and perseverance. He was just 12-years-old when his mother and younger sister were murdered. He fought through his horrific childhood, though, to become an NFL prospect.

Possible Destinations: Bears, Colts, Packers, Raiders, & Rams

10. Travis Bond, North Carolina
A big and powerful player, Bond had 35 -inch arms. His size alone (6-6 & 332 pounds) will give him a chance in the NFL. However, he plays at a high pad level because of his height. In addition, his weight is a significant concern, as he once weighed over 370 pounds.

Possible Destinations: Bills, Jets, Cowboys, Panthers, & Rams

Centers

1. Barrett Jones, Alabama
A jack-of-all-trades player, Jones started at left tackle, guard, and center on three of Nick Saban’s national championship teams. He’s an outstanding run blocker capable of getting to the next level with ease. He does struggle Barrett Joneswith quick defensive lineman, and there‘s concern about a lisfranc injury in his left foot, though he played through it during in the BCS championship. Nonetheless, he has excellent intelligence (was a Rhodes Scholar finalist) and plays with a nasty streak.

Possible Destinations: Broncos, Cowboys, Packers, Patriots & Ravens

2. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
Frederick has experience playing both guard and center, though he spent all of 2012 playing the latter. He does a nice job of getting to the second level, and can sustain blocks. He’s a tough player, as you’d expect from a Badger offensive lineman, but the program’s reputation is inflating his value. He’s a couple notches below Jones.

Possible Destinations: Broncos, Falcons, Colts, Packers, & Ravens

3. Khaled Holmes, USC
An experience player at both guard and center, Holmes is smart, physical, and finishes blocks. Injuries hampered his 2012 season, but he was second-team all-conference in 2011 as a center. He’ll need to answer questions regarding his recent injury history, but if he’s healthy, he’s a future starting interior player.

Possible Destinations: Cowboys, Colts, Eagles, Falcons, & Packers

4. Brian Schwenke, California
Schwenke is an agile center projected to start in a zone-blocking concept. He does a nice job of keeping his hands inside, and is experience enough to start quickly into his career. Because he’s not a powerful player, he’ll struggle against nose guards.

Possible Destinations: Broncos, Colts, Eagles, Falcons, & Packers

5. Braxston Cave, Notre Dame
A strong senior campaign increased Cave’s draft status immensely. He was a third-team All-American after starting all 13 games. He isn’t the greatest athlete or the strongest player, but he’s physical and very assignment sound.

Possible Destinations: Broncos, Colts, Eagles, Falcons, & Packers

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