The Baltimore Ravens draft team talks about why it selected Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th pick in the 2017 NFL draft. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
I have no problem with the Ravens' selection of Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey as the No. 16 overall pick in the NFL draft. Most of the so-called experts had him as the second best corner after Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore. He has good size (6 feet, 195 pounds) and speed, reportedly running the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds.
The Ravens went for need. They lost out on the three top receivers in Washington's John Ross, Clemson's Mike Williams and Western Michigan's Corey Davis. They were all gone before the Ravens were on the clock. They also lost out on Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett and Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, who could have helped the Ravens as a pass rusher.
In the past couple of seasons, the Ravens secondary has had problems in coverage and it has cost them when playing top teams with quality quarterbacks. But in this offseason, the Ravens have added safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Brandon Carr. They also have a good young cornerback in Tavon Young who can play nickelback. The Ravens should be solid to start the year and maybe even good by the end of the season if things go well.
The one thing I don't like about this situation is that I don't have confidence in secondary coach Chris Hewitt. He got very little out of this group two years ago and was replaced by Leslie Frazier last season. When Frazier became the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator after the 2016 season, the Ravens put Hewitt in charge again. That concerns me.
But the Ravens needed a cornerback, one who could match up with the other team's top receivers. With Humphrey on one side and Jimmy Smith on the other, maybe the Ravens can finally play well in the back end of the defense. They have invested a lot of money and time in this secondary instead of bringing in free agents.