The SEC's best 25 players: No. 5

February, 20, 2013
2/20/13
11:25
AM ET
Yes, another Alabama guy in our countdown of the SEC's best 25 players from the 2012 season. Those guys must have been pretty good.

No. 5: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama, Sr.

2012 summary: A unanimous first-team All-America selection, Warmack helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers -- Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. The Crimson Tide finished second in the SEC in rushing with an average of 227.5 yards per game, and allowed just 23 sacks in 14 games. Warmack was the Crimson Tide's starter at left guard for the past three seasons.

Most recent ranking: No. 9 in the 2012 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Warmack: If you were creating a model of what an offensive guard was supposed to look like and play like, the easiest thing to do would be to trot out Warmack. There wasn't a better interior offensive lineman in college football this past season. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Warmack didn't just win his one-on-one battles. More times than not, he destroyed whoever was in front of him. Warmack missed just seven assignments in 728 snaps in 2012. He graded out at 90 percent or higher in seven games, and led Alabama with 37 pancake blocks. Not only that, but he had just two penalties called against him all season. For a true appreciation of how dominant a player Warmack was for the Tide, go back and watch the tapes from the SEC title game against Georgia and the Discover BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame. Alabama made a living running behind Warmack, gashing Georgia for 350 rushing yards and Notre Dame for 265. ESPN's Todd McShay called Warmack one of the best players, regardless of position, in this year's NFL draft, and the NFL Network's Mike Mayock suggested that Warmack should be considered by the Kansas City Chiefs as the top overall selection in the draft. Alabama has had some stellar offensive linemen under Nick Saban, but Warmack is right there at the top of the list and was an absolute mauler in the middle of that the Crimson Tide offensive line this past season.

The Rundown

Chris Low | email

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