Injury may force this Day 1 CB target to fall to Ravens after NFL Combine

The Ravens could end up stealing a star here

Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens
Seattle Seahawks v Baltimore Ravens / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens have typically adhered to the philosophy of taking the best player available in the NFL Draft instead of possibly reaching for someone who could fit a more immediate need. Given their history as a winner, that philosophy seems to have served them quite well.

Eric DeCosta could go in one of many different directions and still earn rave reviews. With the secondary needing more depth, the offensive line in need of a Ronnie Stanley succession plan, and the wide receiver room still quite thin, Baltimore might decide that getting talent over fit will serve them well once again.

After the NFL Combine, it seems as though a Big Three consisting of Alabama's Terrion Arnold, Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell, and Clemson's Nate Wiggins is forming at the cornerback position. One former first-round lock could be falling due to some injury concerns, which would put him in striking distance for Baltimore.

Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry has a Jones fracture in his right foot that prevented him from doing Combine drills and could linger at his Pro Day. His foot injury history might scare some teams away in the first round, but Baltimore, should they remain undaunted, could add a long-term starter at No. 30 overall.

Could the Baltimore Ravens add Kool-Aid McKinstry in NFL Draft?

McKinstry may not create the most turnovers, but his long frame and tremendous post-snap recognition skills make him both someone who was able to shut down future pros in the SEC and a rookie who can translate well to the NFL without a ton of time marinating on the bench.

McKinstry's flaws stem from a lack of top-shelf athleticism. His lateral mobility isn't ideal for a first-rounder, and he lacks elite long speed, which has hurt him several times on vertical routes. McKinstry seems like an outside corner exclusively, lacking the choppy feet needed for slot versatility.

However, Kool-Aid has the physicality and aggressive mentality to wash receivers out of plays at the line of scrimmage. With great zone coverage range and tremendous instincts when the ball is in the air, McKinstry could thrive in either a man or zone scheme at the professional level.

Baltimore could use more secondary help, as Brandon Stephens hasn't established himself as a high-end CB2 just yet and Geno Stone seems unlikely to return in free agency. McKinstry and Marlon Humphrey could give Baltimore a 1-2 punch of former Crimson Tide stars that carry their secondary into the future.