Cornering the draft

NFL Draft Cornering the draft

Posted in NFL Draft
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All throughout the draft process, Matt Ryan has been linked to the Ravens. However, since many expect Ryan to be gone by the time the Ravens pick, other names have been tossed around as potential targets.  
 
Mock drafts throughout the country have projected the Ravens to take anything from a quarterback, cornerback, defensive end, offensive tackle or even an outside linebacker.
 
While quarterback may be the team’s most pressing need, the lack of depth at cornerback is just as glaring.  Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle are not getting any younger and their backups were exploited on a regular basis when forced into action last season.  David Pittman still has potential and showed some flashes towards the end of the ’07 campaign but he has not been consistent enough to warrant the confidence of the organization.  Aside from McAlister, Rolle and Pittman, all of the other corners on the team can be either upgraded or replaced.  
 
The only question is when in the draft will the Ravens turn their attention to the secondary?
 
Leodis McKelvin is the top corner in the draft and would be a nice fit for the Ravens but even if Ryan is gone, McKelvin may not get the nod over a player like Sedrick Ellis or Chris Long, if they somehow fall.
 
Fortunately for the Ravens, there is no need to rush in drafting a cornerback.  This cornerback class is as deep as any in recent years and there is an abundance of talented players that will be available in the second round.
 
Antoine Cason, Justin King, Brandon Flowers and even Aqib Talib may all be there when the Ravens pick in the second round.  Cason and Talib have the best chances of the four to go in the first round but Talib is slipping after it reports surfaced that he three failed drug tests during his career at Kansas.  Meanwhile, scouts question Cason’s speed.
 
If the Ravens were to turn their attention to cornerback in the first round, McKelvin is really the only one worthy of the eighth pick.  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has the most potential of any cornerback in the class and has the tools to be a playmaker in the secondary at the next level but will take some time to develop and is a slight reach at that point.  Mike Jenkins is a dominant press corner and has the tools to be a solid starting starter but lacks top instincts and has been rumored as maybe being a better fit at free safety.
 
Whether the Ravens go for McKelvin in round one or someone like Cason or King in round two, there is no doubt they will address the secondary at some point very early in the draft.
 
CORNERBACK RANKINGS
  1. Leodis McKelvin, Troy (Top 10)
  2. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State (Mid First Round)
  3. Aqib Talib, Kansas (Late First-Early Second Round)
  4. Mike Jenkins, USF (Mid-Late First Round)
  5. Antoine Cason, Arizona (Late First-Early Second Round)
  6. Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech (Early Second Round)
  7. Justin King, Penn State (Early Second Round)
  8. Tracy Porter, Indiana (Late Second-Early Third Round)
  9. Patrick Lee, Auburn (Third Round)
  10. Charles Godfrey, Iowa (Late Second-Early Third Round)

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Matt Zenitz

About Matt Zenitz

Matt covers the Ravens for the Carroll County Times and Annapolis Capital. He is also a Ravens correspondent for the Associated Press. More from Matt Zenitz

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