We are less than a week from the NFL Draft, also known as the most important day of the year for your Cleveland Browns. With (another) new regime taking over the reigns and new schemes in place on both sides of the ball, it is crucial that Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, Ray Farmer, Rob Chudzinski and the crew nail these three days. It all starts Thursday night with the primetime First Round.
The Browns currently hold the sixth pick. Will they go with a defensive back? Could they turn to a pass rusher? Would they possible fortify the offensive line? Could they shock everyone and take an additional offensive weapon? Or maybe, just maybe, would they trade the pick to a team that wants to move up and snag one of those top offensive tackles?
From now until Thursday’s first round, a different member of the WFNY staff will take their look at one player in particular and tell you why the Browns, should they choose to, would go in this direction.
Name: Chance Warmack
40-yard dash: 5.49
Whom he would replace: Shawn Lauvao
Why he makes the most sense for the Browns: The Browns have a pretty solid offensive line, anchored by Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Last year’s second round pick Mitchell Schwartz solidified the right tackle spot. Jason Pinkston has shown signs of being an above average guard, that is if he can recover completely from the blood clot that hospitalized him last season. Pinkston was recently cleared to resume football activities. John Greco did a pretty decent job filling in for Pinkston. A line of Thomas, Pinkston, Mack, Greco and Schwartz is not bad. However, a line that included Warmack at the right guard could elevate them to elite status. He would instantly improve the Browns running game, especially short yardage.
What the experts say: “Looked particularly dominant even among the Bama O-line. That says a lot. He simply takes defenders where he wants them to go, utilizing great power and quickness at his size. A dominant run-blocker, Warmack isn’t just massive, but also moves well, with initial power in tight spaces and the ability to seek out LBs on the second level.”- Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
“This is not the sexiest pick and Browns fans probably would express some frustration initially, but Warmack is a flat-out stud who would instantly improve their offensive line. He is one of the best guards I’ve ever evaluated, an easy mover in pass protection who shows plenty of smarts and is also a nasty run-blocker. Cleveland RB Trent Richardson (a former teammate of Warmack) and QB Brandon Weeden would surely offer their stamps of approval.” – Todd McShay, ESPN
“Chance came to Alabama and was an immediate contributor as a true freshman which is rare. He took over the LG spot as a sophomore and has anchored that position since. He is the quintessential road grader in the running game but also posses the technique and athleticism to be a very good pass blocker. His wide frame and strength make up for his average height for the position. The one area that needs to improve is his ability to stay consistent with keeping his pad level low so he can maintain leverage. Overall Chance Warmack is a special prospect for an interior linemen which should cause a team in the upper 15 to select him with no issues.”– Sports Illustrated
“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. Doesnt 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.” – NFL.com
Chances the Browns will take Warmack: If the Browns take a chance on Warmack (pun intended), it would likely be in a trade down scenario. It is no secret the Browns have shopped the #6 pick for a second rounder and a swap of first round picks. If the Browns made a deal that landed them in the 12-16 range, I think Warmack could be a possibility. However, with so many other holes in the starting line-up, taking a guard might be a luxury that the Browns can’t afford. Even if Warmack is as advertised. I would say the odds of Warmack coming to Cleveland are pretty long.