Oh, to count all the ways the Baltimore Ravens can use their early picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. So many right choices, so few wrong ones (Except for drafting a first-round quarterback. That is downright ludicrous.)
The Ravens’ roster needs haven’t changed too much since the beginning of the offseason, and one could reasonably argue for any ranking of the following positions: offensive line, defensive line, pass-rusher, and cornerback.
Today, we focus on cornerback in honor of Cleveland Browns’ Denzel Ward becoming the highest-paid player at the position with his contract that includes $71.25 million in guaranteed money. At least one Ravens defender thinks it was well-deserved.
So who are the future Denzel Wards in this year’s draft class? Baltimore could opt to pull the trigger on a corner as early as the first round (pick No. 14), but they also have several second- and third-round selections to potentially use on the cornerback unit (No. 45, No. 76, No. 100).
We’re almost certainly sure the Ravens will take a corner within the first three rounds, and if not…well, we’ll be writing a very strongly worded letter to Eric DeCosta and the front office.
Here are four intriguing corner prospects, two of whom rank as second or third-rounders and two who could be selected with the Ravens’ No. 14 pick.
4. Kyler Gordon
He’s one of the more underrated players commonly mocked to Baltimore for his expected seamless transition into the Ravens’ defensive scheme.
Gordon started 12 games in 2021 for the Huskies and finished with 46 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and a team-high seven pass breakups. The Washington product isn’t as technically gifted as other corners in his class but could thrive in the Raven’s backfield as a supremely versatile defender.
PFF’s Anthony Treash writes:
"Gordon has plenty to work on from a technical standpoint and isn’t an overly instinctive player, but he does have the traits to develop into a quality starting corner in the NFL — especially in a scheme-diverse defense like Baltimore that would also fully tap into his inside-outside versatility."
Gordon played on the outside in mostly off-zone coverage at Washington, playing more man and press than a particular teammate who’s featured later on this list.
Under the tutelage of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters (who also went to Washington!), Gordon can develop into a starting-caliber corner in Year 1 and would serve as a viable replacement for former Ravens’ slot cornerback Tavon Young.