Chance Warmack doesn’t read the Mock drafts or watch much of the NFL Network these days. The former Alabama guard is either sleeping, working out, or flying across country visiting with NFL teams in the pre-draft process.
Considered the best guard available in the draft, and a potential top-10 pick, Warmack says he doesn’t care where he calls home next year or how high he gets drafted.
“I’m just trying to focus on where I’m going with visits and staying in shape and maintaining a focus of what I’m going to do when I get drafted,” he told Detroitlions.com during a pre-draft visit to the teams’ headquarters in Allen Park Monday.
An interior offensive lineman hasn't been selected in the first five picks of the NFL Draft since 1985, when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Bill Fralic second overall.
Before that, it was 1975, when the Baltimore Colts took North Carolina guard Ken Huff with the third pick.
Teams selecting that high in the draft – like the Lions at No. 5 – are typically looking for more impactful players. Guards, however right or wrong, aren't considered to have as much impact on the game as other positions.
Warmack says he doesn't see it that way.
“I feel like nowadays guard is becoming more of an important position because you don’t want to just strictly pass the football,” he said. “Some teams want to run the ball, and to have a good versatile offense, I think the guard and center positions improve your run game the most.
“You have to establish the line of scrimmage. I feel like there are athletic guards coming out nowadays and it changes the way teams run their offense and I think that’s important.”
Warmack was a unanimous All-American in 2012 and led an impressive Alabama offensive line with 39 pancake blocks while committing just two penalties.
He's started 39 consecutive games, all at left guard, dating back to his sophomore season. Over that span, Alabama averaged 225 rushing yards. He blocked for eight 100-yard rushing performances this season and 23 in his career.
The addition of Warmack along the Lions offensive line gives the team a likely Week 1 starter for the next five years, and beyond, and makes them better in both the run and pass game.
“A team is getting a hard worker and a durable player who wants to play for 10-plus years,” Warmack said of what a team and a fan base can expect from him if they draft him later this month.
“A guy that’s going to be around for a long time. A good investment.”
The Lions are on the lookout for a starting right guard after releasing Stephen Peterman following last season.
So the real question is how high is too high to draft a guard? How high is too high for a team with a need there? Is No. 5 too high?