Along with wide receiver, the cornerback position will most likely need to be addressed this offseason. Although the secondary stepped up in the late part of the season after losing both Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb to ACL injuries, it was not up to the usual Ravens standard. This was inevitable with the loss of Chris McAllister, but the amount of pass interference penalties and the several big plays from opponents after their receivers beat cornerbacks deep was a bit worrying. Now add Ed Reed’s retirement into the mix, and Frank Walker and Co. don’t have the NFL’s best safety bailing them out if he does in fact hang it up. On this blog at least, we’ve established that wide receiver is the team’s #1 need. Personally, I think they should pick up an established NFL veteran or two, so I’ll look ahead at the cornerback class in the draft, ranking them 1-5.
- Joe Haden, Florida: Haden is a junior out of Florida who’s undoubtedly the best cornerback prospect in the draft. Definitely won’t fall to #25.
- Patrick Robinson, Florida State: A far cry from Haden, Robinson could be available at #25 if a few teams before the Ravens pass up on him.
- Donovan Warren, Michigan: A very talented corner, Warren has the potential to be a first-rounder, and may be a good target at #25.
- Trevard Lindley, Kentucky: The SEC’s top cornerback basically since he got to Kentucky, Lindley has the ability, and some good pre-draft performances will raise his stock.
- Javier Arenas, Alabama: Arenas is more of an all-around weapon than a cornerback like Devin Hester, but far more advanced in coverage than Hester.
If the need is not addressed in the draft, here are some formidable free agent corners:
- Dre Bly, San Francisco
- Leigh Bodden, New England
- Demarcus Faggins, Detroit
- William Gay, Pittsburgh (restricted)
- Nick Harper, Tennessee
- Ellis Hobbs, Philly
- Ken Lucas, Seattle
- Ashton Youbouty, Buffalo (restricted)
Coming up next in this series is the defensive line.