With the 16th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey. RSR staff react to the pick here.
Marlon Humphrey seems like a fine player but drafted a little early, particularly with Jonathan Allen and O.J. Howard still on the board. I’m sure Ozzie has great Alabama intel, and word is the team had injury concerns with both Allen and Reuben Foster. But the Ravens needed to get a starter with their first pick. Instead they just added depth. The net gain in 2017 might not be significant.
The Ravens had a dream scenario fall their way with three quarterbacks going in the top 12. That allowed them to have their pick of several top-tier prospects, and landing Humphrey was the perfect selection. Humphrey is the best, most complete cornerback in this year’s draft, and will settle in well opposite Jimmy Smith. He mirrors Smith’s physicality with the instincts and closing speed needed to thrive in the NFL. Great first pick for the Ravens to kick off the 2017 draft.
With all the talent still out there, Marlon Humphrey is the Alabama player no one expected the Ravens to take at 16. After the run on wide receiver, the Ravens shore up their secondary and look to focus on offense later. Not a real fan of the move but it does make the secondary younger.
The Ravens defense, especially their secondary, has really been a downfall for this team the last couple of years. Not any longer. This offseason they have worked hard on building the secondary and Humphrey continues that trend.
So 4 Bama players on the board, and nearly everybody was sure the Ravens would take LB Reuben Foster, as he both fills a need, and was likely a top-10 pick for most teams. Instead, the Ravens opt to pass on Foster, DE Jonathan Allen and TE OJ Howard to select the least likely candidate in CB Marlon Humphrey.
Meh… feels safe to me. Good, not great. Not mad, just not happy about the pick. Perhaps the Ravens saw Allen’s shoulder issues as a concern, Foster’s off-field incidents as a concern, and didn’t value Howard. Honestly? They could’ve traded down a handful of spots, picked up an extra pick or two and still landed Humphrey with no problem.
Hooray for depth, but still plenty of holes to fill that could’ve been addressed by a consensus slew of better players on the board…
I don’t think there was a single mock draft that had the Ravens taking Humphrey and frankly it’s a little bit of a head scratcher. There were several options like Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen that would have matched need with Ozzie’s best player available strategy but they went in a different direction. This may be the deepest secondary in Ravens history but with the addition of Brandon Carr is Humphrey even considered a day one starter?
In a draft loaded with talented corners, the Ravens take one surprisingly early. Humphrey fits the team’s “type” as a long, athletic, physical boundary corner. The upside is evident, and he’s only 20 years old but again, the offense or the pass rush doesn’t get addressed. Still PLENTY of work to do.
I can’t believe how this is being undersold as a need pick.
Entering this offseason, the Ravens were absolutely desperate for youth in the secondary. That situation was magnified by the signing of Carr, who is clearly a bridge player, signed to what is effectively a series of (expensive) 1-year contracts. The Ravens got their young corner, he should start immediately, or within a half a season as injury dictates. This is as solid a marriage of need and value as could have been hoped for with the exception of finding the proper value in an edge rusher.
The press conference afterwards was measured and leaves the impression that the FO still knows how to use all the tools in the shed, including trading up (they tried, presumably for Haason Reddick), trading down (paraphrasing: We waited to see if someone would offer a deal we couldn’t refuse), or letting the board fall to them (“Humphrey was the highest-rated player on our board”).
Someone is always disappointed, because by its nature, 1 pick can generally fill just 1 hole on a team that is currently Swiss cheese.