NFL Draft Round 1 Grades: Ravens steal speedy CB Nate Wiggins

Wiggins will join the Baltimore secondary with tons of hype
Clemson v South Carolina
Clemson v South Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens could have gone in multiple different directions in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but they believed the best course of action was to address cornerback above all else. Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins, one of the best athletes at the position in this class, is now headed to Baltimore as a result.

The Ravens took Wiggins with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft over players like Cooper DeJean and Kool-Aid McKinstry at the same position. After losing Geno Stone and Ronald Darby to free agency, the Ravens decided their still quality secondary needed one more big name in the lineup.

While the Ravens didn't get the offensive tackle many believed they would select, and they passed over some quality wide receivers to make this pick happen, selecting a player that projects as a high-end starter in the pros due to his mouth-watering physical traits.

On a wild night that saw 23 offensive players get selected, the Michael Penix Jr. controversy take flight in Atlanta, and multiple confounding picks late in the draft, the Ravens can come out of this wild night confident in the fact they just added a premium athlete from a blue-chip program at a position of need.

2024 NFL Draft Grades: Baltimore Ravens select Clemson CB Nate Wiggins

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. Even at 182 pounds during his pro day (he was 173 at the NFL Combine), Wiggins is very light for an outside cornerback. As a run support player, Wiggins shows some issues. However, in terms of lining up snap after snap and shutting down the oppsing receiver, there are few better in this class.

Wiggins is an elite athlete with 4.28 40-yard dash speed. With some of the longest arms in this class, tremendous ball skills in contested situations, and an aggressive style of play, Wiggins will have no trouble earning snaps during his Ravens career.

Baltimore will likely have him compete with Brandon Stephens for a starting role, but head coach John Harbaugh has already spoken about his versatility and potential to line up in the slot. The secondary was elite last year, and adding Wiggins will help keep it that way in a passing league.

While this pick could retroactively go down if the Ravens fail to address their offensive line and wide receiver concerns, Wiggins is a top-shelf athlete who could easily become a Pro Bowler if he dips into his reservoir of talent. Baltimore landed a Top-20 player at No. 30, and that's a win for all involved.

Grade: A-