Ravens: Anthony Averett could prove his worth in 2021

Ravens, Anthony Averett (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Ravens, Anthony Averett (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens won’t be able to adequately replace Marcus Peters following his torn ACL. But one player who will look to step up in his absence is Anthony Averett.

There is no replacing Peters’ playmaking ability. He’s arguably the NFL’s best ball hawk and, while he has his lapses from time to time, more than makes up for it with his aptness for turnovers at the right moment.

Peters is a top-20 cornerback in the NFL, possibly even top-10 at his position. You don’t just replace players like that.

But Averett is going to try. The fourth-year pro will have a chance to prove his worth in 2021 and make good on the potential that everyone in the Ravens organization believes he possesses.

The Ravens will need Anthony Averett to step up in 2021

The Ravens have gone on record stating that they believe Averett is a starting-caliber cornerback. They believe that on most teams in the NFL, the former Alabama standout would be a bonafide starter.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has taken it a step forward and suggested that Averett has “All-Pro potential.” That’s high praise, even in the congratulatory world of coach speak.

To this point, Averett has only been given the opportunity to show that potential in spurts. The 2018 fourth-round pick has started seven games over the last two years and played a career-high 33 percent of defensive snaps in 2020 despite missing six games.

In 249 coverage snaps, Averett allowed just 27 catches (on 39 targets) for 313 yards and a touchdown. He managed to finish second on the team with seven pass breakups despite six players being on the field for more coverage snaps.

Averett is a much better player than many fans tend to give him credit for. But where he’ll truly need to take the next step will be with his ball skills, especially if he’s going to come close to replacing Peters.

Averett tends to struggle in 50/50 situations and oftentimes gets turned around when the ball’s in the air, despite tight coverage. It’s no surprise that he’s still looking for his first career interception.

Entering a contract year, Averett has a chance to cash in this offseason if he could make the most of this golden opportunity.

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Consider the next 17 games an audition for the other 31 NFL teams as much as it is for the Ravens. Anthony Averett can earn a lot of money this season.