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  1. #1
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    Aug 2006
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    It Takes More Than Talent to Be an NFL Success. Sometimes you have to...



    "Carry the Chicken!"

    The Ravens were on the clock during the 2009 NFL Draft as they prepared to make the 88th overall selection in Round 3.

    They turned in the pick: Lardarius Webb, a 5’10”, 179 pound cornerback from Thibodaux, Louisiana’s Nicholls State.

    Immediately I thought back to a conversation I had with Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta about a very similar selection they made back in 2006.

    Then while on the clock with the 87th overall pick the Ravens chose 5’11”, 182-pound cornerback from Natchitoches, Louisiana’s Northwestern State, David Pittman.

    DeCosta shared that the Ravens had learned a lesson taking a corner from a small school that high in the draft. The concern centered upon the level of competition corners face in small school programs compared to what they face in the NFL.

    So I wondered why they would make the same “mistake” twice with Webb.

    I was told that Webb would be different. That he had overcome adversity in his life and was mentally prepared to handle the failures that would certainly greet him at the next level. It was also pointed out to me that Webb did compete against Division I teams while a member of the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

    Clearly DeCosta was right and Webb is different.

    But did Pittman and Webb really differ that much that the former was such a flop?

    Apparently there was more to the story.

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  2. #2

    Re: It Takes More Than Talent to Be an NFL Success. Sometimes you have to...

    I remember that story.

    It's frankly dumbfounding to me that Pittman thought it was so beneath him or whatever to bring a couple of trays to the vets. Very, very minor hazing. I know they do that and make the rooks sing their school song and I think Pittman refused to do that as well.

    C'mon man, you can't be that prideful.


    I also remember though a LOT of fans on the various message boards and on the radio immediately condemned the pick as "another Pittman"...I mean I don't think the ink was dry on the card in New York before people started with those comparisons.

    Same thing with Kruger...he was immediately considered another Dan Cody before they had a single practice.

    A lot of us want to jump to conclusions way too early.
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Re: It Takes More Than Talent to Be an NFL Success. Sometimes you have to...

    I definitely think that a lot of the small school guys have the physical talent to compete with top tiered D-1 players...it is just a matter of getting over that mindset that you can (or can't).

    The only small-school guy in this past draft I'm not sure about is Aaron Mellette, but that is only because WR is one of the hardest positions to really scout...even from D-1 programs. Mellette certainly has the physical attributes you look for in a NFL receiver.

    6'2", ~215-220lbs, 33" inch arms, just shy of 10" hands, solid 40-time (4.5) for his size and nice shuttle time. NFL.com compared him to Michael Jenkins, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I think it is kind of hard to compare him to a current NFL receiver because he didn't play against big time competition. Just from his measurables and skillset, I think he could eventually develop into a solid #3/possession receiver. The biggest thing for Mellette is going to be learning the nuances of an NFL receiver because with his size/speed combo he was able to impose his will against D-2 competition. He won't be able to do that against NFL corners.
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