After finishing as the top defense in the league last season, the only blemish on the Ravens defense was their lack of interceptions. Here’s my prediction on which cornerback will finish the season with more takeaways:
Jimmy Smith (1st Round, Pick 27):
Last season the Baltimore Ravens defense finished with 12 interceptions which was tied for the 18th most in the league according to ESPN. Of those 12 interceptions, Jimmy Smith accounted for two of them, both of which came against the Cleveland Browns in their Week 16 matchup.
Smith has been one of the most frustrating Ravens since being drafted in 2011 because he has so much talent, yet can’t keep himself on the field whether it be injuries or suspensions. The most interceptions Smith has had in a single season was three in 2015 according to NFL.com.
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This will be one of the rare seasons where Jimmy Smith isn’t rehabbing from an injury or preparing for a suspension (knock on wood), so having this full offseason to prepare with no distractions will really improve his play this coming season in my opinion. I expect Smith to snag around four picks this season, which would be doubling his count from last season and a career-high.
Marlon Humphrey (1st Round, Pick 16):
Since being drafted in 2017, Marlon Humphrey has improved his play at an incredible pace. Last season Humphrey really stepped up as the teams number one corner and I expect him to play at an All-Pro level this coming season.
In the MMQB’s latest podcast episode with Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling, they ranked the Top 10 corners in the league and placed Humphrey as the 6th best corner in the league. In his reasoning Benoit goes on to say:
"“He [Marlon Humphrey] can play right corner, he can play left, he can go anywhere and he’s their best matchup and best overall back level pass defender, so I knew he was good” and then Benoit goes as far as to project Humphrey will “take a big leap into stardom this year”. -Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling on the MMQB podcast."
That is some well deserved high praise for the youngster who is on his way to NFL stardom. This season will be huge for Humphrey as he is now the official number one corner and will be tasked with defending the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Tyreek Hill, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeAndre Hopkins, and etc., so if there is any time to prove his dominance it’s now.