clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 reasons to be excited the Tennessee Titans signed Ohio State’s Damon Webb

The Buckeye is looking to be the next in a long lineage of successful safeties at the next level.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans signed Damon Webb as an undrafted free agent. Webb, who was thought to be drafted during Day 3, slid down the board. But, he’s found a place in professional football.

So, why should you be excited the Titans picked up Webb? We’ve got you covered:

1. A consistent starter at a school known for DBs

For 27-straight games, Webb was a starter at a school known from creating NFL-grade defensive backs. The Buckeyes have produced so much talent at DB, that in some circles they are known as “DBU”.

In order to be a constant starter at OSU, you have to perform on the field. Webb did exactly that. He had nine tackles (a career-high) against Iowa, Army and Oklahoma in the 2017 season. Against Oklahoma, he even scooped up a fumble.

Webb put together a solid senior campaign, which included 61 tackles and five interceptions. He was peaking in his last go-round for the Bucks, as he only secured one pick in his first three seasons.

Against USC in the Cotton Bowl, he may have only notched four tackles into the box score, but he had, arguably, the biggest interception of his career...

2. He picked off Sam Darnold

Ohio State was only up 10-0 on USC in the Cotton Bowl when Webb made the game-changing play.

Even entering the bowl season, Darnold was seen as one of the top quarterbacks of the class. Sure, the USC QB was an early first-round selection, but he’ll never be able to erase the ‘Damon Webb Pick-6’ from memory.

USC-Ohio State is a big game, no matter when it’s played. A traditional Rose Bowl matchup, these two had to move the showdown to Arlington, Texas, because the ‘Grandaddy of Them All’ was being occupied by the College Football Playoff semifinal.

For Webb to go out there and make a play like that, it adds to the mystique of this Pac-12/Big Ten matchup. Webb’s pick sealed the deal for the Buckeyes, as the Trojans could barely get the ball moving down field after that. The pick helped Webb secure the defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl—another line on an impressive résumé.

3. Speaking of Awards

Webb ended his season on a high note, but the awards and recognition didn’t stop. He made the All-Bowl team in both USA Today and ESPN. Plus, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors, which is an improvement from the 2016 season, when he made the all-conference honorable mention list.

The key to a long football career is constant improvement. What a prospect doesn’t want to do is lay an egg in his final season, hurting his team’s hope for a title as well as his personal draft stock. Webb hasn’t done either.

4. Highlight reel worthy plays

We touched on Webb’s ability to pick off the ball. But what we didn’t touch on was the manner in which he pulled off the heists.

Here’s a contest interception he hauled in against UNLV early in the 2017 season.

Sometimes, the turnovers he captured involved him being in a wide-open space. Whether or not it was an offensive misread, the end result was still a nearly acquired Ohio State possession. In this pick against Wisconsin in the 2017 Big Ten Championship Game, Webb sealed the deal for the Buckeyes.

If he gets on the field in the NFL, don’t be surprised if he makes a couple highlight-reel plays — he already gained the experience from college.

5. A Bigger Trophy Case?

On top of the Cotton Bowl, Webb has five other trophies from his Buckeye days. They include a Fiesta Bowl (2015), CFP National Championship (2014), Sugar Bowl (2014), and two Big Ten titles (2014 & 2017).

Everyone likes a winner, and Webb has done that both personally, and as part of a team.

Any concerns about Webb?

While it wasn’t too big of a problem at Ohio State, Webb does have the tendency to draw contact in coverage. His NFL Draft profile declared that he “gets grabby in coverage.” In college, the pass interference penalty is only 15 yards; in the NFL, that same penalty is a spot foul. If he has trouble tracking down a receiver, and tugs at the jersey, the team (and Webb) could be looking at a hefty penalty.

Against Oklahoma, Webb committed pass interference that set the Sooners up at the OSU 23. Fortunately, though, OU coughed up the ball on the next play. In some of the bigger games (i.e. Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and USC), Webb virtually didn’t get called for pass interference.