The Ravens' selection of Terrence Cody in last month's draft wasn't a sexy pick.
(Hold your jokes, please.)
Drafting a run-stuffing, block-eating defensive tackle generally won't get fans all that fired up. But there is one guy who loved GM Ozzie Newsome's selection of Cody with the 57th overall pick - Ray Lewis.
"My mindset definitely changed when we drafted Cody," Lewis said at last week's minicamp. "Just imaging Cory Redding, Cody, [Haloti] Ngata and [Terrell] Suggs on one line.
"I think I get to run around and have fun again, and that's always a good thing."
Lewis isn't the only one excited about what Cody will bring to the Ravens' defense. Ask any defensive player or coach (or even offensive ones, for that matter) about the 6-4, 360 pound nose tackle, and they'll rave about how his ability to take up blockers will allow Lewis and the rest of the linebackers to fly around cleanly and get to the ball.
Here's some evidence to back up that thought: A pre-draft ESPN study found that Cody was double or triple-teamed on 63.6 percent of his plays at Alabama.
Coaches say that it's Cody's physicality at the point of attack and speed for a guy his size that make him tough for a single interior offensive lineman to handle.
"The one thing you noticed on film, and the one thing he showed out here - for a guy that is as big as he is - he's got a really quick first step," defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. "He really moves quick on his first couple steps, and that's very important in there with the guys he's going to be playing against."
As I'm sure you've heard by now, Cody's weight is an issue. The major concern surrounding the Alabama product coming into the draft was that he wouldn't be able to control his size, and he would in a sense, eat himself out of the league.
The Ravens don't share that fear. They have Cody on a conditioning program and are confident that because he has gradually lost weight since his days in junior college (where he tipped the scales at around 400 pounds), that he will be able to keep himself in shape.
Cody will share playing time with veteran Kelly Gregg this season, likely working his way into the lineup on first and second downs. But if things go as planned, the mammoth defensive tackle might stuffing the run and clearing space for the Ravens linebackers for years to come.
"That's what we've always prided ourselves in here, is stopping the run first," Mattison said. "Terrence Cody has had a great reputation, has done a great job in his college years as a run-stopper, and I don't see any reason why he won't do the same thing here."