According to NFL.com's Pat Kirwan, Baltimore Ravens rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody should have a tough road ahead of him, coming form the college game to the faster, more complicated pro game. In a recent article on the NFL site titled, "History shows expectations for rookie defensive tackles are too high,"Kirwan lists a number of DT's taken in the first two rounds of previous drafts and shows us how minimal their impact was in their rookie season.
Showing statistics that include those DT's picked in the first two rounds over recent years recording an average of just over one sack and only around 13 tackles in their rookie season in the NFL. While those numbers alone don't necessarily define a player's contribution to their team, they are a good indication of how difficult the transition to this level of play can be.
Even the Baltimore Ravens All-Pro defensive tackle, Haloti Ngata, underachieved in his rookie season. Ngata, as dominant as he has been over the course of his four year NFL career, had a mediocre statistical season in his 2006 rookie year, with only 13 tackles, one sack and no forced fumbles. Of course, as most Ravens' fans know, especially from the team's Super Bowl run of 2000-01, one of the best things the defensive line can do to contribute to our defense is to keep the offensive linemen occupied in order to allow inside linebacker Ray Lewis to roam free and make the plays.
In 2000-01, that was the job of both defensive tackles, Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams. Their stats were unimpressive at best, but we saw the results of clogging the middle of the defensive line for our linebackers that season. In Haloti's rookie season, the Ravens defense was one of the top squads in the NFL as they had a 13-3 regular season record before falling to the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, so Ngata must have been doing something sufficient enough to contribute to that record.
With Ngata being a 1st round pick and Terrence Cody being a 2nd rounder, if Cody were to have anywhere near the overall success that Ngata had regardless of the statistical numbers, I seriously doubt that Ravens' player, coach or fan will be disappointed with the results. Cody is not in there to ring up numbers, but to once again, clog up the middle of the line to free up a slightly older and less mobile Ray Lewis, but nonetheless still one of the best free-roaming LB's in the NFL.
At 6'3" and around 350 pounds, he certainly is built for the type of success the team is looking forward to.