Ravens: 4 cornerbacks land on NFL’s top 101 list

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Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 was a tough year for the Ravens’ secondary.  Aside from the numerous issues at the safety position, cornerback was arguably ravaged more than any position on the roster.

When the team’s #1 guy, Jimmy Smith went down early in the season, the Ravens never truly recovered. And their #2, Lardarius Webb, struggled until later in the year as he recovered from his own number of ailments.

That doesn’t mean that the Ravens have a lack of talent at the cornerback position.  In fact, a number of names showed up on Matt Miller’s Top 101 Cornerbacks of 2014 list.

Miller and his team used a number of scouting metrics, graded key criteria for the position, and came up with a total score for each player (100 being the max).

The rankings take into account a number of tangible factors, but not things like career accomplishments or potential.

The factors that do count include run defense, coverage, tackling, and whether the player is a starter or backup.  Pretty much all of the things you want a cornerback to be or do well.

Several Ravens cornerbacks made the list, which shouldn’t be a big surprise.  Let’s take a look at how they fared.

Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Cassius Vaughn (29) knocks a pass away from Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

96. Cassius Vaughn (66 points out of 100)

Coverage: 57/75; Run Defense: 4/10; Tackling: 2/10; Starter: 3/5

Former Detroit Lion and recent Ravens free agent acquisition Vaughn makes the list towards the bottom as a decent, experienced player.  Vaughn has good long speed but is not a physical player or good tackler. He gets beat a lot off the line, but isn’t terrible in coverage overall.

Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown (14) carries the ball as New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington (25) tackles in the third quarter during the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

66. Kyle Arrington (72 points out of 100)

Coverage: 62/75; Run Defense: 2/10; Tackling: 5/10; Starter: 3/5

Arrington is another free agency pickup who has been one of the NFL’s best slot corners for several years running.  That’s pretty much his ceiling, however, and his disastrous performance in the Super Bowl earned him a ticket to free agency.  But he fills a huge need for the Ravens, who have lacked a decent nickel corner for a couple of years now.

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