3. The Baltimore Ravens found something in Brandon Stephens
Back in August, most people wondered if Brandon Stephens would start at safety or cornerback. There was a legitimate case to be made that he could play either one at that point. He settled in at cornerback, more because of the need there than it was because the team wanted him there. Now, he is a trusted starter across from Marlon Humphrey.
Stephens is strong and plays physically, and he attacks the ball at the catch point. He has faced groups like the Bengals and Seahawks and has not allowed a touchdown yet. He has outlasted both Ronald Darby and Rock Ya-Sin, two players who were supposed to earn spots over him.
Those two were injured, which bought Stephens time. Then, they split time across from Stephens. While they looked fine, Stephens looked better and was playing full games. The platoon turned into Marlon Humphrey, and last week, the Ravens made Ya-Sin a healthy scratch because they needed depth elsewhere. In week one, if someone told you the Ravens had too many quality cornerbacks, you would laugh. That is a nice change, a surprise from what was happening.