RAVENS DRAFT BREAKDOWN: Cornering the draft market

NFL Draft RAVENS DRAFT BREAKDOWN: Cornering the draft market

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The Ravens have several areas on their roster that they’d like to upgrade, but they also need to get younger at a few key positions. Obviously, Baltimore is looking to add more receiving threats but a few other positions become a little less obvious.

It’s my belief that the Ravens need to move Michael Oher back to right tackle. By doing this, Marshal Yanda would be moved back into RG, which is more of a natural fit for him. If Gaither returns, more than likely he’ll only be around for the 2011 season and the Ravens will need to look at a true left tackle prospect. 

On the defense, Baltimore needs help at all three levels. For one, they’ll look to add a 5-technique defensive end to play opposite Haloti Ngata. Many of the prospects for this position will have played defensive tackle in college. The team needs help in the pass rush department and if they are even the slightest bit unsure of Sergio Kindle’s chances of returning, they’ll almost undoubtedly draft an OLB that can rush the passer.

Baltimore is also in need of another inside linebacker. This could be to play beside Ray Lewis for now, or, if the team is comfortable with Jameel McClain, they’ll still need another inside linebacker to be an eventual replacement for Lewis.

The cornerback situation isn’t as dire as before with Foxworth coming back from a knee injury but it’s unclear if the team will be able to keep both Josh Wilson and Chris Carr. Even if both return, the Ravens still do not have a true "shut down" corner and could look to grab one if available.

The Ravens also need some help at safety. Dawan Landry’s play has declined since his neck injury and Ed Reed won’t be around forever.

For purposes of this Ravens-centric draft analysis in 2011 we will focus upon improving through the draft at offensive tackle, wide receiver, defensive end/OLB, inside linebacker and cornerback.

So far we’ve reviewed the position(s) of Offensive Tackle, Defensive End, Wide Receivers, and Inside Linebackers

Today we’ll take a look at Cornerbacks   

CB – Round 1       

Jimmy Smith – Colorado: May be one of the most talented corners in this draft but has some off-field concerns. Reportedly, some NFL teams have removed him from their draft board. However, he has a tremendous combination of size and speed and loves playing press coverage. Could be a true "shut down" corner.
Brandon Harris – Miami: Might be just as talented as some other corners but will drop due to his size. At worst, he’s an excellent nickel corner but still has a high ceiling.

Aaron Williams – Texas: Possibly projects better at safety, but that could be a selling point for the Ravens. Technique as a corner isn’t as polished as others but has solid ball skills and comes from NFL bloodlines.

CB – Round 2       

Ras-I Dowling – Virginia: Many expected Dowling to come out last season but he wasn’t ready. He’s still developing but has an excellent combination of size and speed.       

Curtis Brown – Texas: Has been slightly overlooked because of Aaron Williams but is still a solid corner.       

Marcus Gilchrist – Clemson: Might very well be better suited to play safety, but this could be the versatility the Ravens would look for.

CB – Round 3      

Brandon Burton – Utah: Excellent size for the position but not as talented as former team mate, Sean Smith.      

Chimdi Checkwa – Ohio State: Could be taken higher if it wasn’t for a late season injury.      

Curtis Marsh – Utah State: Small school player that is flying under the radar. Excellent size. Still learning the position as he played RB during freshman and sophomore seasons.

CB – Round 4      

Rashad Carmichael – Virginia Tech: Carmichael’s speed is hard to ignore. He may not be the best cover corner in this class, but he can run with just about anybody. ~ fftoolbox.com

CB – Round 5      

Chykie Brown – Texas: Has good size, bulk and speed for the position, prototypical frame for a corner… Has a very good motor, looks like he really enjoys playing the game, plays with intensity… Production has never been very good (98 tackles, two interceptions in four years)… Durability may be a slight concern, is not a good wrap-up tackler, will miss in open space. ~ SidelineScouting.com

CB – Round 6      

Demarcus Van Dyke – Miami: Possesses incredible speed, was the fastest player at the 2011 combine… Has good height for the position… Needs to add some bulk to his frame, is a little thin for his height… Instincts are below average at best, seems to lack consistent focus on the field. ~ SidelineScouting.com

CB – Round 7      

Kevin Rutland – Missouri: Takes smart, effective angles when breaking on the ball and uses an above-average vertical leap to affect the pass and win jump balls. Is a tall, lean athlete with long arms and room to add bulk… Lanky and is not a fluid athlete. Appears uncomfortable when left on an island or asked to cover half the field. Gets leggy and fails to maintain balance when receivers eat up cushion and he’s forced to turn and run. ~ NFLDraftScout.com


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