When the Ravens were scouting Lardarius Webb, they sent their secondary coach, Chuck Pagano, out to Nicholls State to watch him play. Pagano returned to Baltimore and raved about the 5'10" corner. At the combine, Webb put on an excellent showing and ran the fastest time in the forty yard dash at his position. The Ravens were impressed with Webb's combine performance and invited him to their Owings Mills headquarters to talk to him in person. They debated whether to take Webb in the third round. They believed that he would be available later, but in the end, they drafted Webb because they believed that he was the best player available and didn't want to risk him being taken before them.
Fast and explosive, Webb is the type of player that Ozzie Newsome loves to bring onto his defense. It goes without saying that Webb has excellent speed, but he also shows excellent ball skills. He is the only college player ever to win offensive, defensive and special teams awards in a single season. In coverage, Webb shows good hip transition. This allows him to play closer to the receiver and turn up field or drive inside if needed. As a player, he boasts excellent upside. DraftGuys.com did an interesting special on Lardarius Webb that shows off his talent.
In an interview before the draft, Lardarius said that he wanted to play for the Ravens. He also said that his favorite player was Ed Reed and that he dreamed of playing with Reed. I cannot blame him, but Webb is the only player that I've seen who has shown preference to a certain team before the draft. The Ravens must have told Webb that they wanted to draft him. Otherwise, I cannot imagine Webb going out on a limb like that. In the end, Webb recieved his wish and is now wearing purple and black. He did another interview with Coleman after the draft and was extremely happy to have been drafted by the Ravens. Ironically, Webb was interviewed by Jerry Coleman with Jason La Canforna, who now works for NFL.com and used Lardarius Webb's signing as his first blog entry. I provided the link to La Canfora's blog entry below.
Finally, I believe that Webb has tons of potential and may turn out to be the best corner on the Raven's roster in the long run. That's saying alot since the Ravens have one of the deepest secondaries in the league right now. Furthermore, Webb has experience at safety, a position that he play in college. That experience will add versatility to our secondary and help Webb perform multiple roles.
“[Lardarius Webb] showed a lot of quickness and has a good understanding of the defense for a rookie," said head coach John Harbaugh during Baltimore’s rookie camp. "The fact that he plays safety and corner is going to be helpful throughout his career. But it’s going to help us in camp, too.”
The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms with third-round pick Lardarius Webb, with the rookie cornerback scheduled to sign his contract shortly, according to a league source. Webb’s athleticism and versatility drew him to several teams, along with his return skills, and he played both corner and safety during his college career.
Webb will sign a three-year contract, including a $530,000 signing bonus, and veteran-minimum base salaries. I had the chance to interview Webb before the draft on my buddy Jerry Coleman’s sports radio show back in Baltimore, and he was about as charming and humble as can be (all "Yes sirs" and "No sirs"). He had a rough patch off the field before transferring to Nicholls State, but finished strong and joins a Ravens secondary that was very much remade during the offseason.