One of two secondary players out of Ohio State working toward a draft pick this spring, safety Damon Webb saw playing time in all four of his years in Columbus. The cornerback-turned-safety was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes, and the only returning starter in 2017 — thanks to his three teammates being drafted last season— all in the first round. Now, Webb is looking to at least hear his name somewhere in the seven rounds of the NFL Draft.
Despite being one of many in a very deep position group at Ohio State, Webb progressed each season, before really making a splash in his senior campaign. On top of his 61 total tackles (44 solo), five interceptions, three passes defended and two fumble recoveries, the safety won Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP in his last game in the scarlet and gray. Against USC, Webb had a fumble recovery and 23-yard pick-6 to earn him the MVP honors.
He might not be projected as high as teammate CB Denzel Ward, but there’s no doubt he ends up on someone’s roster this spring — even as a UDFA. Fortunately, he is the next in a long of Buckeye safeties, some of whom have gone on to lead their teams to Super Bowl wins. (Here’s looking at you Malcolm Jenkins.) Webb isn’t afraid to be a leader, and has both his, and the Ohio State, reputation to prove it.
STRENGTHS: Opportunistic. Grabbed five interceptions this season and has two career pick-sixes. Defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl against Sam Darnold and USC. Had three interceptions over his final five games. Showed improvement year over year at safety. Responded faster to quarterback’s clues as season went on. Productive tackler in both seasons as starter. Quick and consistent tackles to limit yards after catch. Good downhill depth in run support to limit cutback angles for runners.
WEAKNESSES: Undersized with narrow waist and the build of a cornerback. Below average athletic ability. Lacks fluidity in his change of direction. Tight-hipped. Struggles to flip and sprint when squatting on routes. Gets grabby in coverage. Will struggle to handle man coverage responsibilities against speedy receivers who climb up to his level. Shows some confusion against combo routes. Chase speed is dull. Fast running backs leave his pursuit angles ineffective.
- Height: 5-10 6/8”
- Weight: 209 lbs
- Hand size: 8 1/8”
- Arm length: 31 2/8”
- Wingspan: 72 4/8”
Webb mentioned during his time with the media, that teams at the East-West Shrine Game had asked him to bulk up to over 200 pounds, after playing most of his senior season around 195 pounds.
Bench press: 17 reps
40-yard dash: 4.62 sec
Vertical jump: DNP
Broad jump: DNP
Interview Notables and Quotables
The safety isn’t expected to draw a high draft pick, but could hear his name called before the end of Round 7 of April’s draft. While he isn’t among the top safeties in this year’s draft class, Webb is still a Buckeye and still has a lot of great game film to back up his cause. He should have no problem solidifying a roster spot with an NFL team through training camp.