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Monday, March 21, 2011
Soon to be stars: Webb, McKinney

By Matt Williamson

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson looks at AFC North players on the verge of a breakout in 2011.

Webb
McKinney
The Baltimore Ravens are one of the best organizations in the NFL and have an excellent roster. But I had a very hard time coming up with a name to feature for this series. There was not an offensive player who really qualified, but there are two lesser-known defenders who have played well while still showing upside. Those two are cornerback Lardarius Webb and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney.

I don’t know that either will truly be a star, but Webb and McKinney should play major roles in what is now an aging defense for the foreseeable future. McKinney needs to get more snaps, and that seems like a logical progression for him in 2011. But the Ravens are very strong at defensive tackle, and Baltimore might be more apt to give Terrence Cody the additional playing time.

Webb, 25, could be starting next season -- Josh Wilson and Chris Carr are up for free agency. Webb, a small-school player from Nicholls State, has really come into his own. He should be a starter for years to come.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.