INDIANAPOLIS — For Marcell Dareus, the prized defensive end out of Alabama, nothing would be finer than to replicate the career path of his hero, former Bucs and Raiders terror Warren Sapp.
“I love Warren Sapp,” Dareus told reporters Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Watching Warren Sapp made me want to play football. I really look up to him as a player and a person.”
Looks like the feelings are mutual. Sapp, an NFL Network analyst, projects 6-foot-3, 319-pound Dareus as one of the finest 3-technique linemen in April’s draft, with the potential to go as high as No. 1 overall to the Panthers.
“I like that someone would think that highly of me … but the teams got to decide, it’s really not his decision,” Dareus said. “But it feels good to be recognized by him.”
Reporters asked the affable Dareus what kind of player he is out on the field.
“I would call myself a nice guy,” he said. “I’m a real nice guy. Everybody I tackle, I pretty much help them up. But I’m coming after them the next play.”
Taking a look at the towering Dareus — who resembles a front door — opposing teams would be wise not to upset this “nice” fellow.
— Marc Sessler