April 05, 2017
When the Philadelphia Eagles signed former 2013 first-round pick (10th overall) Chance Warmack on the first day of free agency, they acquired one of the best college guard prospects in recent memory.
Warmack was a dominant player for the Alabama Crimson Tide, paving the way for running backs Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Eddie Lacy, collecting two BCS National Championships along the way. Here were his strengths, noted on NFL.com's scouting report back in 2013:
Thick interior player. Possesses a strong punch to shock oncoming defenders and consistently extends his arms to keep them at bay in pass protection. Strong lower half helps his anchor against bull rushes. Mobile enough to effectively trap and pull, regularly negates targets coming into the hole and flattens defensive backs in his path. Practiced fitting on linebackers on combo blocks. Brings attitude on every play, constantly keeps his hands and feet moving when drive-blocking, rolling his hips through contact, and looking to pancake his man whenever possible. Doesn't have the quickest feet, but is very technically sound and uses his strong punch to stop defenders and his length to mirror. Drives interior defensive tackle off the ball on base blocks. Has handled a number of dominating college defensive lineman with ease.
His four-year pro career, however, has been a disappointment so far. In 2016, Warmack had surgery on his right hand, which cost him all but the first two games of the season. The Tennessee Titans subsequently allowed Warmack to walk in free agency seemingly without any real fight to keep him.
Curiously, he signed a $1.51 million deal on the first day of free agency, a clear indication that teams around the league did not value him. And with good reason – Warmack has a ways to go before he can be trusted to start for the Eagles. We took a look at the two games Warmack played in 2016, and the game tape isn't pretty.
In the Titans' Week 1 game against Minnesota, it seemed clear that the Vikings saw something of Warmack on tape that they were looking to exploit. In that game, Warmack kept lunging at his target with his weight out in front of him, leaving him off-balance. As a counter, Vikings defensive linemen were easily able to side-step him, while continuing to pull him forward and out of the play.
In each of the following clips, Warmack is the RG:
On the play immediately after "Whiff #4," Warmack over-compensated trying to correct not having his weight too far forward, and he got bull-rushed back into his QB.
The following week against the Lions, Warmack had two egregiously bad plays. First, he got bulldozed seven yards into the backfield on this DeMarco Murray safety.
And on this play, Warmack's responsibility is clearly the DT, who he leaves for some reason to block a blitzer.
Warmack said that Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was his OL coach at Alabama, influenced his decision to sign in Philly.
"He's my guy," said Warmack. "He helped me a lot in college to get to the next level. I'm hoping to make that magic work again here. I've already met with him. We're already talking scheme."
Warmack won in college with brute strength. In the NFL, everyone is strong, and technique is often what separates the good players from the bad. Stoutland has his work cut out for him in trying to get Warmack to live up to the potential he once had.
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