- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Alabama's date with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, we will review the season for a key Crimson Tide player or coach and attempt to project what’s next for him. Today we’ll look at left guard Chance Warmack.
No. 65 Chance Warmack
First-team All-America selection
Role in 2012: Warmack was the most effective blocker on the best offensive line in all of college football.
The good: The senior rose from a possible NFL prospect to the top-rated offensive lineman overnight. As scouts looked at his game film, it was obvious -- Warmack was dominant and tenacious. Every time Alabama was running the ball, it was his direction and he could be seen 3, 4 and 5 yards ahead of the play, churning his feet and barreling over defenders.
The bad: Truth be told, there aren't many weaknesses to Warmack's game. His strength and durability are obvious. He started 39 career games and missed a team-low six assignments this season. His toughness and production speak for themselves. He had a team-best 36 pancake blocks. His only weakness, which comes more by way of a default, might be pass protection. He struggles with pad placement at times, though he doesn't have much trouble recovering from any minor flaw in technique.
Crystal ball: Warmack will go somewhere in the first round of April's draft. Barring catastrophe, that much is certain. Who replaces him at Alabama is not as obvious. Sophomore Arie Kouandjio could slide in at either right or left guard, depending on what the coaching staff does with Anthony Steen. But the real tantalizing option is freshman Alphonse Taylor, who will likely redshirt this season. The former four-star prospect transitioned from the defensive to offensive line in fall camp and seems well on his way to a career at guard. He's already 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds and has great athletic ability for a man his size.
5dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough