On Saturday, the offensive linemen had their day on the field in Indy. There are three guards that I think Dallas must have an eye on selecting in the draft.
Chance Warmack, Jonathon Cooper and Larry Warford are all solid guards that could start in Dallas on day one. What they displayed on Saturday was pretty much expected.
40 yards: To me, this is the most useless information for an offensive guard. How many plays does a guard run down the field for 40 yards? That ability may be useful when chasing down a defender after Romo throws an interception, but that’s about it.
Cooper as expected, was the most impressive guard running around in shorts and t-shirt. He had the better 40 time of the three lineman with a solid 5.07 time. He is the quickest and represents the best option for moving outside on screens and sweeps. Cooper did nothing to take away from his reputation as an athletic guard.
Warmack and Warford were not impressive running the 40 but it would be foolish to hold that against either one of these large mauler type linemen.
Bench Press: This means more than the 40 time when it comes to linemen. Scouts want to think they are investing in a strong offensive lineman that can handle the beast at the NFL level.
Cooper really did himself some good here by benching 225 pounds for 35 reps which was one of the very best performances of the day. I can’t say that I expected to see him do that well on the bench but he brought his A game Saturday.
Meanwhile, Warford did 28 reps which wasn’t bad but perhaps a little disappointing.
Drills: In the more realistic drills where the offensive lineman are asked to block in short space including pass blocking, and trap blocking, both Warmack and Warford were much more impressive.
My Take: All three of these guards should be on the Cowboys radar screen. Warmack is expected to get drafted in the top 10 while Cooper should go pretty close to where Dallas picks at 18 in the first round. Cooper had an outstanding combine and showed that he may be the most athletic guard in the draft. Cooper’s ability to move out in space should be an asset to the Cowboys offense.
Warford is expected to go in the second round and I don’t think anything happened at the combine to change that projection. However I still think that Warford represents outstanding value as a guard in the second round who is very impressive in video I watched. His physical style is not going to show up at the shorts and t-shirt olympics.
Any of these three guards can come in and start for Dallas right away and prove to be a nice upgrade over last season.