“This is an awesome Pick”, wrote WalterFootball.com. “This is one of my favorite football players in the entire draft”, shouted Mike Mayock on TV when the Lions drafted him. “This is possibly my favorite pick the Lions made in the 2013 draft”, says Chris Katje of Rant Sports. You would think this universal praise was for when the Lions drafted Ziggy Ansah with the fifth overall pick in last month’s draft, it’s not. All this and more praise has been heaped on the Lions third round choice Larry Warford. It’s crazy that a third round choice is getting so much ink, but to top it off, he plays the most anonymous position on the team, guard. Most casual football fans couldn’t name a guard on their team if their life depended on it.
In all my years watching the Lions, I’ve never seen a third round pick come into town to more hoopla than Larry Warford did last week. Dominic Raiola has already requested that Warford’s locker be placed next to his. Raiola is probably entering his last year as the starting Center and he wants to impart his wisdom on the mammoth rookie every single day. I gotta admit, when the draft was on and they announced the Lions third round pick was Warford, I jumped up and cheered like the Lions just scored a touchdown.
So why is a third round rookie guard being treated like a rock star? He represents a new beginning in Detroit. The birth of a running game. The Lions just couldn’t run the ball when they needed to. The opponents knew it. The fantasy footballers knew it. The Detroit Lions fans surely knew it. When Martin Mayhew said the the offensive line needed upgrading over this past off season. Warford was exactly the kind of guy he was referring to. A refrigerator with legs. Warford represents the new kind of athlete that Mayhew zeroed in on this years draft. The bigger the better.
I think the smart football fan knows that the Detroit Lions have been relying on Matthew Stafford ever since he set foot in this town. The Lions thinking appeared to be, we have a gunslinger and we intend to use him. They spent so many resources on surrounding Stafford with weapons that they neglected the hogs up front who make the running game work.
The previously one-dimentional Lions showed the NFL that by drafting Larry Warford they are no longer just paying lip service about needing to improve their running game, they actually put some weight behind their actions this time.