Detroit Lions midseason awards: Larry Warford is rookie of the (half) year

Ansah? Warford? Martin? Fauria?All Detroit Lions rookies. And all have played integral roles to the team's 5-3 start.But which was best?

In the latest installment of our preseason awards, we have named right guard Larry Warford our rookie of the (half) year.

Kyle Meinke's rookie of the (half) year: Larry Warford

Key stats: Allowed zero sacks, three QB hits and seven QB hurries. Ranked by ProFootballFocus as the NFL's third-best right guard. Played all 581 offensive snaps.

Runners-up: Sam Martin

Why Warford: The third-round pick was plugged into the lineup from Day 1, and might be headed to the Pro Bowl if the season were to end today. What more do you need to know?

OK, how about the fact he hasn't yet allowed a sack? That's a coup, considering he plays in an offense that has passed more often than anyone in football (338 times). The Lions, as a team, have allowed a league-best 10 sacks.

Their offense is increasingly predicated on the short pass, which obviously helps deflate pressure numbers, but Warford's steady play certainly helps keep Matthew Stafford upright.

He's proven himself to be a people-pusher in the run game as well. Reggie Bush has run behind him 40 times, more than any other lineman.

Sam Martin is having a fabulous rookie season, but it's difficult to chose a special teams player over a guy who is asserting himself on every offensive snap. Literally.

He hasn't missed a snap.

Justin Rogers' rookie of the (half) year: Larry Warford
Detroit has got quality production out of several rookies, but none have been as impactful as Warford. The third-round draft pick has immediately stepped into a starting job and solidified an area of weakness for the Detroit Lions.

Paired next to a resurgent Dominic Raiola, the Lions have had experienced a significant increase in production running the ball up the middle this season.

That kind of push in the ground game was expected from the 330-pound Warford, but he's also been phenomenal in pass protection, allowing minimal pass-rush pressure to reach quarterback Matthew Stafford.

We'd also like to highlight Martin, who has transformed Detroit's ability to flip the field. But it's simply impossible to justify giving the award to punter over a productive lineman who has played every offensive snap.

Contact Info

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.

Neil S. Schwartz

Email: neilsschwartz@gmail.com

Jonathan Feinsod

Email: jonathan@sffootball.net

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