The Baltimore Ravens finalized their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday by cutting more than 20 players. After clearing the NFL Roster Cuts deadline, the franchise moved on to filling the initial practice squad, to which they only signed 15 players. That was fixed quickly, though, following some transactions related to the Injured Reserve and the addition of the final member of the PS on Thursday.
There is no sugarcoating the precarious status of the Ravens secondary, mostly when it comes to the cornerback room. A lot of players went down injured throughout training camp, many more were signed as stopgaps, some stayed, some were cut, some were stupidly lost to other franchises through waivers...
...and on top of everything Baltimore's defensive honcho Marlon Humphrey underwent surgery forcing him to miss at least a month (or not) and probably two or three games (I said, or not!) at the start of the season. Sheesh.
Even though the Ravens are done with their preseason transactions, there is no great clarity when it comes to the cornerback unit whether that means players on the outside or defending the slot in the nickel role. However, here's a breakdown of the members of the Cornerbacks unit of the Baltimore Ravens for the 2023 season.
Ravens CB Depth Chart
Starters: (CB1) Marlon Humphrey, (CB2) Rock Ya-Sin, (Nickel) Ar'Darius Washington
Losing veteran CB Marcus Peters never seemed to bother a Baltimore Ravens franchise confident in what they kept in tow and the few arrivals coming through the early portion of the offseason, namely Rock Ya-Sin and rookie Kyu Kelly.
The problem was that the former got injured in training camp and the latter was lost for nothing through the waiver wire last Wednesday after the Ravens cut him (a fifth-round pick, mind you) and Seattle claimed him.
All of that, paired with Marlon Humphrey's injury, has the Ravens looking shallow as hell at the position. That said, when Humphrey is available he's one of the best corners in the league, and he and Ya-Sin should be the starting duo in an ideal (Week 3, at the latest) world.
For now, though, the Ravens will need to start veteran late-FA-signing Ronald Darby outside as their CB1 and one of the supposed "depth" players opposite him. That's not a horrible patch to start the season, but it's far from optimal.
It's going to be a toss-up to declare a starting nickel corner ahead of Week 1 and through the regular season with Arthur Maulet and Ar'Darius Washington in the race but no clear answer nor option picked by John Harbaugh yet.
We're betting on Washington mostly because of fit, familiarity, and health. Maulet was signed ahead of training camp and missed all preseason games while recovering from an injury sustained when already a member of the Flock.
Depth: Ronald Darby, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Brandon Stephens, Arthur Maulet, Kevon Seymour
Most of the depth players have already been discussed above because as of now, they're simply going to have to step up their game and start for at least a couple of weeks while the room gets healthier.
Darby is a lock to start outside while Humphrey rehabs from surgery, and he could do enough to keep the CB2 role even when the superstar is back. Maulet might end up starting as soon as in Week 1 or Week 2.
Stephens, JAD, and Seymour should only be depth bodies, but they are now just an inch away from getting in-game reps because that's the status of this unit. Sheesh.