Ravens: Anthony Averett has shined in a starting role this season

Ravens, Anthony Averett Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Anthony Averett Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Baltimore Ravens lost Marcus Peters for the season to a torn ACL, all eyes immediately shifted to Anthony Averett as the player who would take his place.

The Ravens coaching staff had raved about Averett in the past, although the former fourth-round pick has never gotten the opportunity to be a featured starter for an extended period of time.

This was his opportunity to prove that he’s a starting-caliber cornerback, entering a contract year no less. And through the first four games of the season, he’s proved to be one of the most valuable players on the roster.

Averett has exceeded expectations and held down the fort with Peters sidelined. And truth be told, there’s no telling where the Ravens would be right now without him.

Anthony Averett has been crucial to the Ravens’ defensive success

Peters isn’t the only cornerback the Ravens are missing. Preseason standout Chris Westry also went down with an injury in Week 1 leaving a once stacked secondary troublingly thin.

And it’s that lack of depth that makes Averett so valuable.

The 26-year-old is playing some of the best football of his career at the moment and currently leads all NFL cornerbacks with a 41.7 passer rating against when targeted, per Pro Football Focus.

He also ranks in the top-20 in completion percentage against when targeted to go along with a pair of interceptions — the first two of his NFL career.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the year, Averett is giving the Ravens plenty to think about when it comes to a potential extension.

Many believed that Averett was a likely candidate to walk at the end of the season with the Ravens already investing so much money into their cornerback room.

They’ll be strapped for cap space and Averett might be looking for an opportunity to start elsewhere. But his play this season could make the organization think long and hard about their decision.

Few players have been more integral to the team’s success on defense this season than Averett. He’s helped stabilize a position ravaged by injuries while also playing the best football of his career.

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Anthony Averett has proved his worth to the Ravens. And he might just be rewarded handsomely for it in the near future.