Georgia football’s Warren McClendon was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft Saturday.
McClendon, the No. 174 overall pick, was a dependable three-year starter at offensive right tackle for Georgia even though he didn’t have the five-star recruiting pedigree of other tackles who played with him.
No player on Georgia’s national championship team last season logged more starts for the Bulldogs during their careers.
Here’s what McClendon can bring to the NFL.
Georgia football offensive tackle Warren McClendon: The positives
McClendon lined up as the starting right tackle for 37 straight games over three seasons until a knee injury broke that streak heading into the Peach Bowl. He returned to play in the national championship game.
McClendon did not give up a sack the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Weekly, with a 99 percent pass blocking efficiency rate.
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“Nobody’s been more productive in the SEC the last three years than Warren has,” coach Kirby Smart said of a player who was named to the coaches’ All-SEC first team last year.
The 6-foot-4, 306-pound McClendon said during the pre-draft process he wanted to get stronger and more flexible. He doesn’t have as much size as others at the position.
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“McClendon sees things quickly and plays with strong, physical hands,” draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote. “But with only average recovery balance, he has a small margin for error with his set points and technique.”
McClendon was fortunate to only sustain a cut on his forehead when he was a passenger in a Jan. 15 crash that killed two from the football program.
McClendon was part of an offensive line that kept Stetson Bennett well protected. He learned from three different offensive line coaches during his time at Georgia so he should be able to adjust easily to another coach and system. Some teams talked to McClendon about the possibility of playing guard but he views himself as a tackle. He rotated to play some left tackle last season as well.
His uncle, Willie, played four seasons in the NFL as a running back with the Bears. McClendon should continue the family lineage to the pros.