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Lardarius Webb Impressed By Rookie Cornerback Tavon Young


Lardarius Webb knows what it takes to survive in the NFL as an undersized player.

The 30-year-old veteran has been one of the smallest players on the team throughout his career, but he's still managed to become a starter and key member of the defense.

Webb sees that same kind of potential in rookie cornerback Tavon Young. The Ravens drafted the 5-foot-9, 185-pound cornerback in the fourth round, and Webb sees a little of himself in the newcomer.

"He's a short, little guy like myself," Webb said. "But competitive."

Young's competitiveness has been consistently highlighted as one of his best attributes. He earned the coveted No. 1 jersey at Temple, an honor that goes to the team's toughest player.

He exudes confidence and hasn't shied away from competition since coming to Baltimore.

"I feel like I'm ready," Young said at the start of rookie minicamp. "They always talk about size or, 'You're a young guy.' I feel like if you can play ball, you can play ball. If you can compete, you can take somebody's spot."

The Ravens drafted Young with the expectation that he will challenge for the starting nickel back job. He thrived as an inside cornerback in college, and the Ravens envision the same kind of role at the NFL level.

"I see why we drafted him, because he's going to be a good one," Webb said.

If Young is going to work his way into the starting lineup, he'll have to beat out proven players ahead of him. The Ravens signed veteran Jerraud Powers this offseason, and he started 13 games last season for Arizona's defense that ranked fifth in the NFL.

Powers will go into training camp with an edge in the position battle, but the Ravens will give the youngster plenty of reps to prove himself.

"He just has to keep on learning, keep on learning," Webb said. "One thing he does [is] he hustles and he competes, and that's what we need."

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