Nate Wiggins praised by Ravens coaches and players after strong OTA showing

Wiggins keeps impressing the Ravens
Clemson v Miami
Clemson v Miami / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens eschewed selecting an offensive tackle or wide receiver in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, deciding that Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins had the perfect combination of athleticism and aggression to become a first-rate starter in the pros. Turning down eight trades shows the belief Eric DeCosta has in him.

Wiggins, who allowed just one catch over 20 yards and zero touchdowns during his final season with the Tigers, is projected to be one of Baltimore's starting cornerbacks alongside veteran Marlon Humphrey and third-round standout Brandon Stephens. OTAs present the team's first chance to get a look at him.

Wiggins has been getting some very solid feedback from his peers and coaches, all of whom sound excited about what Wiggins brings to the table. Secondary coach Doug Mallory is not only praising Wiggins' physical gifts, but he is taking note of his high football IQ and drive.

"I think the first thing that stands out [is that Wiggins is an] extremely hard worker, smart, intelligent," Mallory said. "When you see him out here on the field, he's got great's just hard to find corners that have that type of length and that can run like he runs. But he has great balance, body control, change of direction.

Stephens, who may need to change his role to accommodate Wiggins, is already very impressed with his new teammate. Stephens said that Wiggins "speed is crazy," jokingly trying to get some of that myself."

Baltimore Ravens rookie CB Nate Wiggins getting positive reviews at OTAs

Wiggins' frame is still the biggest obstacle between him and success in the pros, as he is just 182 pounds despite his 6-2 stature. Still, Wiggins is just 20 years old and now has the benefit of a professional nutrition and strength team to help him pack on a few extra pounds of muscle.

From a technical point of view, there is very little to gripe about with Wiggins. With tremendous speed and an aggressive mindset that makes him one of the best man-coverage defensive backs in this class, Baltimore picked Wiggins with the thought he could be a long-term contributor on the defensive side of the ball.

The fact Wiggins has been earning praise for his football intelligence and work ethic suggests that he is on a path to success in Baltimore. Once he gets a few more porterhouse steaks in him and bulks up, Wiggins will be ready to take the step from good to great.