PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Think the NFL Scouting Combine doesn’t matter? The Ravens’ breakout cornerback is living proof that it does.
Lardarius Webb was a small college safety from small-school Nicholls State.
But Webb made a big impression at the 2009 combine.
And it’s what eventually led the Ravens to draft him in the third round that year.
Webb was a 5-foot-9 ¾-inch, 179-pound safety and kick/punt returner in college.
Lardarius Webb Combine Workout
Scouts liked his versatility. He was the first player in NCAA history to win his conference’s offensive defensive and special teams player of the week awards in one season. They also liked his toughness and ball skills.
But there were questions about what position he would play in the NFL. He wasn’t considered big enough for safety. Was he fast enough for cornerback?
Webb ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, tied for the second-best among defensive backs. Question answered.
“That’s what started our interest in him,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome told BaltimoreRavens.com last week.
The Ravens have done their homework on all the draft-eligible prospects from across the nation. They’ve got the framework of their draft board set.
The combine largely helps them confirm what they already believe to be true.
But every once in a while, a player like Webb will jump off the charts, prompting the Ravens’ scouting staff and coaches to go back for further evaluation and perhaps move him up the board.
The Ravens will be sending the big guns to Indianapolis, from Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh to a team of physicians to inspect the athletes’ health.
The ability to talk to the players (they are permitted 60 15-minute interviews) and have their medical staff check them out are main draws. The on-field workouts, while more entertaining for fans, are generally not seen as important.
But could the Ravens find another gem like Webb?
Stay tuned to BaltimoreRavens.com, who will be Indianapolis beginning Wednesday, for all the combine coverage.