With their second fourth round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions select defensive end Larry Webster of Bloomburg. Webster is a perfect fit with the current defensive line in terms of size. He stands six foot six, and weighs 252 pounds. He is a former basketball player who displayed at the combine a vertical that placed him in the top five defensive ends at that drill. He also placed in the top five in the forty yard dash, registering a blazing 4.58 second time. He displayed great speed and quickness in college and if not for being from a small school, probably would have been picked higher. Larry Webster is definitely a developmental player, although the same was thought last year with Devin Taylor who, when forced into action, displayed that he is a role player and potential starter in the NFL. Webster, once up to speed, should fill in the role vacated by Willie Young. It is also interesting to note that Webster was the second fastest defensive end and had the second best vertical as a defensive end at the combine. The top player at both drills was number one overall Jadeveon Clowney. So, in Larry Webster, the Detroit Lions got themselves a player who is comparable in size, speed, and leaping ability, but obviously very raw.
Webster is no slouch though. His father played defensive line in the NFL for 10 years so he comes from an NFL background. He also was projected for the fourth or fifth round so he was taken right where he was expected. If he can develop his strength, which is below average for a defensive player, and refine some of his raw and inexperienced abilities, he could turn out to be a great addition to the defensive rotation. Whether or not he stays on the defensive side of the ball remains to be seen. He is being projected to be a better fit at tight end in the NFL than as a defensive end. He even saw some time as a red zone tight end in college to show he has the ability to do it.
Statistically speaking, Larry Webster played well in college. He did play for a small school which heavily hindered his draft status. In his first of two seasons on the football field, he registered 39 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. His second season was more of the same. Webster recorded 49 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. He also in his college career had two catches for eight yards and two touchdowns. If those statistics were registered against SEC level talent, Webster may have been a sure fire first round pick. Hopefully with some time in the weight room developing better playing strength and some coaching, Larry Webster can become a solid backup, and potentially a starter at the defensive end position.