Marlon Humphrey sliding in NFL CB ranking shows importance of Nate Wiggins pick

The Ravens made an upgrade at cornerback.
Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens made a mildly surprising move in the 2024 NFL Draft, drafting Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins in the first round at No. 30 overall instead of taking a wide receiver or offensive lineman. Wiggins figures to be an immediate starter alongside Brandon Stephens and Marlon Humphrey.

Not only is Stephens in the final year of his contract, but there are some serious questions about Humphrey's ability to play like a star cornerback in 2024. Not only was last year a regression from 2022, but he played in just 10 games.

This downturn in form has been reflected in Pro Football Focus' latest cornerback rankings. Humphrey slid to No. 16 overall, with names like Rasul Douglas and Darious Williams passing him on the charts. Not only did Humphrey slide, but Stephens didn't even crack the Top 32.

These rankings illustrate how thin Baltimore's cornerback room was prior to the selection of Wiggins. With the former Clemson star and a Top 60 prospect in T.J. Tampa falling to Baltimore in the fourth round, Eric DeCosta has done everything he can to build a top-notch positional group around Humphrey's possible decline.

Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey ranked as 16th-best CB in NFL

Humphrey has made three Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team in Baltimore, establishing himself as one of the better young cornerbacks in the AFC during the last few years. 2023 wasn't as rosy, however, as Humphrey saw injuries sap his effectiveness and force him to miss games. Humphrey has sat out 12 games in the last three years.

Humphrey is under contract for two more seasons after 2024, both of which have cap hits over $22 million per year. With Baltimore able to get out from under that contract without too much dead cap if they designate him as a post-June 1 cut next offseason, Humphrey might be playing for his job.

If his body holds up, the Ravens could have confidence in him as both a short-term stud and long-term running mate with Wiggins. Still as feisty and effective at the line of scrimmage as ever before, Humphrey's position on PFF's list could be higher had it not been for his aches and pains.

Humphrey is already one of the better cornerbacks in Ravens history, and they've seen him perform at an elite level in the past. While the Wiggins pick helps them guard against a regression, Baltimore expects big things from No. 44 this season.