Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Interior Offensive Line Report Card

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Larry Warford

Sep 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws the ball as offensive guard Larry Warford (75) defends against Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett (90) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports


By PFF’s account, Larry Warford is the seventh-best guard in the NFL with a +7.7 grade on the season.

Not among rookies. Among all players. He gets penalized more than he should, but he has been a mauler in the run game and surprisingly even better as a pass blocker.

Grade: A+


Have you noticed how the Lions are sometimes able to run the ball up the middle these days? Why do you think that is? It’s not all on Warford, but he’s certainly not hurting anything in the trenches.

Grade: A

Vs. Expectations

The best way I can think to compare Warford against expectations is to compare him against players I heard Lions fans call for at some point over the offseason.

As we’ve established, Warford is the seventh-best guard in football according to PFF.

Andy Levitre, the most prized guard prospect in free agency this spring, is 27th with a PFF grade of +2.5. He’s under contract to make an average of $7.8 million a year through 2018. Warford is making less than $780,000 a year through 2016.

If you were wondering about Chance Warmack, the “can’t-miss,” “once-in-a-generation” talent out of Alabama that the Lions were supposedly moronic for passing up with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft? He’s 46th with an overall grade of -4.7. Warmack was the 2013 draft’s 10th overall pick. Warford was the 65th.

The point here is that Warford has exceeded all expectations, including that of the Lions and draft experts everywhere.

Grade: A+


Warford is one of the best rookies in the NFL this season, and already one of the best offensive linemen, period. It’s mind-boggling to think that two guards were taken in the top 10 picks of the 2013 draft, and Warford slipped all the way to the third round. He’s already playing at a Pro Bowl level, and will only get better from here.

Grade: A+