Instant analysis on Ravens' first pick, Marlon Humphrey
Apr 27, 2017 at 9:58 PM
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)
How our experts view the Ravens' first-round pick:
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The Ravens weren't kidding when they said this offseason that they wanted to upgrade their secondary. You can never have enough cornerbacks, but there were better fits out there. I would have taken any of Humphrey's three college teammates: Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster or O.J. Howard. Humphrey has all the physical traits of a quality NFL cornerback, but he struggled with consistency problems at Alabama and will probably start the season as the No. 4 CB. How about a No. 2 pass rusher or a No. 1 weak-side LB?
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens needed a cornerback, one who could match up with the other team's top receivers. With Marlon Humphrey on one side and Jimmy Smith on the other, maybe the Ravens can finally play good defense on the back end.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens had no shortage of defensive options after the first half of the first round was overpopulated by offensive players. They really couldn't go wrong, and they didn't with Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey, who is a big corner with big-time talent and athletic ability. He also comes from Ozzie Newsome's alma mater, who had several Crimson Tide candidates to chose from.
Childs Walker, reporter: The draft broke perfectly for the Ravens, with three quarterbacks and three gifted but perhaps flawed wide receivers going in the first 12 picks. And then they swerved everybody by taking Marlon Humphrey. Obviously, they need a cornerback, and they have as good a read on Alabama players as any team. But Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster sure seem more ready to make an impact. This pick will haunt them if Humphrey does not become an above-average starter in a hurry.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: I thought the Ravens would go with a defensive player from Alabama, but didn't expect it to be Marlon Humphrey. The secondary now looks like an area of strength for the Ravens, but where is the pass rusher or the playmaker for Joe Flacco? With the Bengals grabbing speedster John Ross and the Steelers already loaded on offense, this pick makes sense.
Jonas Shaffer: Few in the NFL have a more intimate knowledge of Alabama football than Ozzie Newsome. So if the Ravens general manager passed on Jonathan Allen, considered a top-five prospect going into Thursday night, and Reuben Foster, maybe Nick Saban's best-ever linebacker with the Crimson Tide, he probably had a good reason. Marlon Humphrey upgrades an already improved secondary, but if he doesn't make an immediate impact while his neighbors in the draft order do, recriminations will come swiftly.