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Ravens’ Alejandro Villanueva compares the NFL to American Idol

Alejandro Villanueva, Ravens, American Idol

Baltimore Ravens Alejandro Villanueva has built a solid career in the NFL taking and dishing hits in the trenches. Speaking of hits, albeit of another nature, the veteran offensive lineman revealed that he initially thought that he was only going to last a year in the pro and make enough money that would enable him to study business. To further stress his point, the former Pittsburgh Steelers pass protector went as far as to compare his original disposition about the NFL with…American Idol.

Via Jeff Zrebiec  of The Athletic:

“The NFL was kind of like American Idol,” Villanueva said. “If I can release one hit song, then maybe I can pay for business school and then I could maybe find something in business school that was going to give me a new identity.”

Little did Villanueva know that the real business he’d be doing for years would be on the football field, protecting quarterbacks and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with opposing defensive linemen. This time, his role will change significantly, as the Steelers and the Ravens run completely different schemes anchored on two quarterbacks with dissimilar strengths.

Villanueva did not hear his name called in the 2010 NFL Draft after playing for the run-heavy Army. But before getting his shot in the NFL, when he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, he first served for the military, even getting deployed in Afghanistan.

Villanueva’s transition from the pass-heavy offense of Pittsburgh to the Ravens, where Lamar Jackson’s dual-threat ability provides so many possibilities on offense, would be among the most interesting to watch in the upcoming 2021 NFL season.