The Tennessee Titans haven’t arranged a workout with Alabama prospect Chance Warmack just yet, but the star offensive guard likes the sounds of playing under Mike Munchak next season, according to a few different sources.
Sep 3, 2011; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide coach Jeff Stoutland talks with Chance Warmack (65) during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Bryant Denny Stadium. The Tide defeated the Flashes 48-7. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no huge surprise that Warmack likes Tennessee as a potential landing place in two weeks time, saying that he’s looking forward to being coached by an “actual offensvie lineman”. Clearly, there’s no changing the fact that he’s definitely a first round prospect, and the offensive line remains high on the Titans priorities list this offseason.
But what’s interesting about this whole scenario might be Warmack’s impact on the AFC South, and in particular the Texans. Last season Warmack allowed just 3.5 sacks all year, and lead the Crimson Tide with 37-blocks. He moved some of the best defensive lineman in college with little effort, meaning we can expect the same from him in the NFL sooner than later.
Stacking up, if the Texans stood across from Warmack twice a year, there’s no doubt the Titans offensive line would possess a lot more pop than Houston’s defense might be used to. Wade Phillips’ defense has stood among the leagues best at stuffing the run recently, meanwhile Warmack helped create 224.6 rushing yards last year with his blocks.
That’s what Warmack does well, create opportunities. He rarely lets anyone push past him, and is usually the first to initiate contact.
So how can the Texans strategize round him?
A lot of this comes down to nose tackle, and how big of a push the Texans can get on not just the Titans’, but any offensive line next season. Shaun Cody is gone, and the need for a nose tackle in the middle rounds is large. Drafting someone that can match Warmack’s power could be hard, and building him up straight away could be a lot to ask. But simply plugging up the running lanes Warmack creates is a big bonus – and it’s fair to say Earl Mitchell can do that.
The Texans also have the benefit of strong linebackers and defensive ends, and Warmack has the disadvantage of struggling with speedy defenders. There were times last season where he was caught flat footed, and after running a 5.49 in the 40-yard dash, Warmack probably won’t catch somebody like J.J. Watt once they explode into the back field and chase down the quarterback.
Warmack may also have some issues tackling, which comes hand in hand with his slow speed. He probably won’t be the first guy to chase down a turnover, and the Texans can counter his size if they blitz, and try to keep him on one edge of the field away from a play.
The Texans ranked first in the AFC South with 44-sacks to their name. Thank Watt for that one, but a guy like Warmack does make life harder. What’s even scarier is Jake Locker ranked second in the division behind Blaine Gabbert’s individual sack numbers with 25. Throw in a 317 pound rookie, and the Titans’ protection could be even better.
The Texans defensive line struggled a little last season with injuries. But it would be hard to see Wade Phillips’ struggling with a match up against Warmack, at least in his rookie year.
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