Kentucky's Warford goes to Lions in Round 3
ALLEN PARK, Mich. –- The Detroit Lions quite possibly found the new right guard for their offensive line Friday night in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Larry Warford, a mammoth 6-foot-3, 333-pound road grater from Kentucky, was selected with the 65th pick overall.
“I think he definitely competes for it,” general manager Martin Mayhew said of the starting job.
If so, it would help solidify a revamped offensive line with Riley Reiff, last year’s first-round pick, taking over at left tackle.
The interior of the Lions’ offensive line did a poor job protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford last season, one of the reasons that guard Stephen Peterman got released.
Warford started 37 games in his college career and was named second-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches in 2012.
“I don’t know if you can say Larry without saying Big in front of it,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.
Warford said he’s changed his diet, reduced the carbohydrate intake, and is trying to improve his body composition.
It shows he’s determined to become more mobile, but his job isn’t to look pretty.
“He’s not going to be on the Men of the Lions calendar,” Schwartz kidded. “I don’t know if we’d sell very many of them.
“But he’s made to play guard in the NFL. It’s just part of the job description, you’re not always going to look good. He’s a big, thick, powerful man.”
Warford, who grew up in a military family, said he attended 13 different schools and the reception was always the same.
“Big Larry’s been the universal nickname for me,” he said. “Each time, ‘Big Larry, Big Larry.’ I was like ‘My name’s Larry. You can just call me Larry.’
“I mean it’s a lot less syllables.”
The final four rounds of the draft begin Saturday at noon. The Lions currently have one pick in the fourth round, one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.
… Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell was a surprise second-round pick by Pittsburgh, 48th overall, ahead of supposedly higher-rated backs such as Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.