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OG Tale Of The Tape: Warmack vs. Cooper

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Photo courtesy UNC Athletic Communications.
Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images.

For the first time since 1997, we are likely to see a guard taken among the first 17 picks of the NFL draft. In fact, there's a good chance we'll see two.

There are numerous factors that scouts consider when determining draft positioning for the guard position. When comparing the top prospects in the 2013 draft, Alabama's Chance Warmack and North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper, we will evaluate the five most important characteristics:

  • Physical Attributes: (size, speed, strength, balance, agility)
  • Quickness: Feet, hands
  • Explosion: Sudden force with movement/on impact
  • Pass Block: Initial kick, set base, knee or waist bender, contact, sustain
  • Run Block: Position, sustain, finish

PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES

Warmack: At 6-foot-2, 317 pounds, Warmack has a thick body that fits in well as a guard at the next level. He has great length in his arms (34 ¾ inches). Showed adequate testing numbers at the combine (5.49 seconds in the 40, 110 inches in the broad jump) and at his pro day (vertical jump: 24.5 inches; 3 cone drill: 7.90 seconds; shuttle: 4.97 seconds). Warmack did not participate in the bench. Showed good movement skills during the combine though his numbers have raised questions. He utilizes his thickness and power, and shows good feet to stay in front of defenders.

Cooper: At 6-2, 311, Cooper has a stout frame that will be enough to play guard in the NFL. He has an average reach (33 inches). Was able to make a jump in draft positioning with a stronger combine than Warmack (40: 5.07 seconds; bench: 35 reps; vertical jump: 27 inches; broad jump: 108 inches; 3 cone drill: 7.78 seconds; shuttle: 4.87 seconds). Plays light on his feet and shows the ability to slide laterally very well. Consistently is in an athletic blocking position with a balanced lower half.

Advantage: Even. Both prospects had solid numbers. Cooper may have shown slightly more explosive measurables, while Warmack is more impressive on the field than his numbers indicate. Both players are athletically talented enough to perform at a high level in the NFL.

QUICKNESS

Warmack: Warmack is light on his feet and displays great agility for a player of his size. Shows a quick first step at the snap. Keeps knees bent and hips sunk when in space. Shows a quick drop step on pulls. Has game quickness even if his numbers at his combine and pro days don’t quite match. After battling an early season ankle injury, he really showed his movement qualities in the SEC Championship against Georgia.

Cooper: A quick and agile guard who seems to moves effortlessly. His ability to play light on his feet allows him to stay in front of athletic defenders. Against Maryland, you could really get a feel for his ability to move and his quickness in space.

Advantage: Cooper has a slight edge, he backs up his combine numbers on the field.

EXPLOSION

Warmack: He's a natural knee bender who can sink hips with balance and leverage and drive defenders, sustaining until finish. Explosive punch when he plays with pad level. May not be ideal in height but generates a lot of short distance power. Has powerful legs that get movement at the snap.

Cooper: Has good bend and powerbase, though at times his pad level can rise on contact. Displays power at point of contact, but isn’t always consistent getting movement off the line. Has a solid punch. Strong legs, but can get stalemated at the POA vs. big interior lineman.

Advantage: Warmack. Cooper has decent power abilties, but Warmack has a bit more and has shown his power vs. some of the best competition in the SEC. 

PASS BLOCKING

Warmack: He is a wide body with good lateral mobility and athleticism to mirror pass rushers. Uses his hands well in combat, fights for hand position well.  Can anchor vs. the power rush, plays with good leverage. Warmack consistently picks up twists, stunts and blitzes while showing quickness coming off his block to pick up the new rusher. Really did a great job vs. LSU on a bum ankle.

Cooper: Cooper has excellent athleticism and is technically sound in pass protection. Gets out of his stance quickly and gets into position to take on pass rusher. Plays with excellent leverage by keeping his knees bent and his hips low. Has quick feet that allow him to move laterally to pick up blitzers. Delivers a solid punch without overextending. Very effective hand fighter. Vs. Maryland, showed his ability to pick up movement from the front seven.

Advantage: Cooper, but again it's close. Warmack has more power vs. big interior rushers, but Cooper has the athletic ability that pushes him ahead in pass protection. In a pass-happy league, Cooper’s skill set gives him an edge to play adjust and reset vs. athletic defenders.

RUN BLOCKING

Warmack: Tough and smart run blocker. Plays with very good leverage and a quick first step. His powerful body and leg drive overwhelms defenders. Effective in man and zone blocking schemes. Takes good angles and sets up his blocks well, good at chipping, getting to the second level. Shows good mobility and excellent awareness and balance on pulls. Sustains blocks well and keeps hands in good position. His strength and hand placement make it tough to disengage. Warmack dominated the Notre Dame defense in the BCS Championship.

Cooper: A technician in this area. Not a power guy, but would be great in a zone blocking scheme. Takes good angles and works to gain positioning and keeping his hands inside. Shows active feet and does a great job of maneuvering to stay with blocks. Lacks elite power to drive block, but turns butt to the hole. Did a great job of this vs. Virginia Tech, opening a lane for a 63-yard run. Displays elite quickness and flexibility when pulling. His speed and athleticism allow him to get out in front on pulls and is adept at picking up blocks in the open field.

Advantage: Warmack. He is a more accomplished run blocker and shows the ability to perform in both zone and gap schemes as well as being utilized as a puller. Has dominated in the most dominant conference in college football. His abilities easily translate to the NFL.

OVERALL EDGE

Chance Warmack. Both players display good performances on film and will be high selections. Cooper has better measurables athletically, but Warmack has played against the best. Both will be good pros at the NFL level. Cooper, shows some athletic versatility to possibly play center in the NFL. Warmack has performed at the highest level with a demeanor and nastiness NFL teams value. He can perform in all run schemes at an elite level while being athletic enough to anchor the interior in the pass. He is a player that lets his film do the talking.