As we watch all the NFL coverage salivating for the next big corner, Champ Bailey, Richard Sherman, Joe Haden et. I think we forget about who was the "true prototype" for the cornerback position. Mel Bount was 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, or, just a little bit smaller than a linebacker in today's game.
Mel Blount was so much more, back in his day 40 yard speed was not a big deal but if you dig into his past you'll find out he ran in the high 4-3's or 4.4. A huge corner who runs a 4.3? I think if Blount declared for the draft this year Clowney would of not gone first. What happened so far in this article is my lack of describing his ability. Mel was the first of the so called (shut down corners) You didn't see him with a microphone at all times like Sherman or making sure we appreciate his greatness (Champ Baily, Charles Woodson) He did his damage on the field.
How many cornerbacks can you name that were so good that the NFL had to make rule changes to help the receiver? One. Mel Blount.
His ability to cover was legendary and he also did something that none of the CB of this generation could ever hope to do: and that was FEAR. Receivers were afraid of Blount. None will admit today how afraid they were but if you dig a little deeper you'll find out the truth. With the size of a small LB, the speed of the fastest WR, and physical gifts that defy comprehension, Mel Blount was the dominating corner that even teams 30 years later can't seem to find. He practiced like a warrior, never took a play off, and took intimidation to a level that the league had to step in and save these WR stupid enough to cross paths with Blount.
As a player he had tremendous ball skills, a football IQ so high that he knew where everybody was on every play. I keep hearing all this junk about the greatest CB ever and unfortunately time has eroded some memories of Mel Blount in his prime, he was unstoppable and would make all the diva, loudmouth CB's of today silent if they saw a 24 year old Mel Blount. He was the most skilled cover corner, tackler, athletically gifted, and intimidating CB that ever played the game. Today's WR can thank their lucky stars that Mel Blount existed because he was so could all the rule changes originate from him.
One more side note: there has been speculation and legendary talk about Mel Jumping over a car. The reliable story I got was Mel (wearing a 3 piece suit) with 70's style wingtip shoes jumped completely over an automobile just to show some scrub he could really do. I've heard to much evidence for it not to be believed....just think a man jumping over the top of a car in a suit and dress shoes.... God I wish I could of seen this guy in his prime. Todays CB couldn't of even been his backup...