Where things stand at Slot CB following the first Ravens preseason game?

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Ravens might have done the impossible by winning their 24th consecutive preseason game last Saturday, but that won't solve their depth issues at the cornerback position.

Following the 20-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, even more questions started to pop up from all across the nation with regard to the shaky cornerback unit deployed by Baltimore on Saturday, let alone the one in the depth chart released ahead of the 2023 season.

Are the Ravens comfortable with their secondary? Will they add a cornerback of actual value and that could impact games on a weekly basis? Questions, questions.

The Ravens hosted veteran CB William Jackson III on Friday ahead of their first preseason game but didn't sign him on the spot. Baltimore claimed Tae Hayes off waivers on Sunday after the Detroit Lions released the corner following their own preseason debut.

Writing a little post-game analysis over Pro Football Focus, Gordon McGuinness touched on the ongoing battle for the starting role at the nickel position to defend the slot in Baltimore.

Along with who ends up manning the left guard position on the offensive line, the slot CB battle seems to be the only one still opened and left to solve around Flock Nation.

As McGuinness sees the situation, though, the Ravens "will likely sign a veteran at the [slot CB] position before the 2023 season kicks off," as no real options are currently available for Baltimore among the players currently rostered by the franchise.

Per PFF charting data, as many as six different players logged at least two snaps at the nickel position in defense last Saturday with Ar'Darius Washington getting the most snaps (40) followed by Jordan Swann (24) and Daryl Worley (8).

PFF gave Washington a 71.2 grade in coverage, and while McGuinness was quick to point out that Washington "did a pretty good job," the analyst noted Brandon Stephens' usage by the Ravens.

"Stephens played 55 snaps at left cornerback and earned an 84.0 PFF coverage grade after allowing three receptions and 38 yards from eight targets," wrote McGuinness. "He was in position to prevent a reception on two of those, too, so there’s still room for him to improve at the catch point."

In the absence of incumbent nickel and veteran CB Arthur Maulet, could Stephens be the man Baltimore relies upon to dfeend the slot? McGuinness doesn't think so, opting instead for a much better and already-proven option: superstar corner Marlon Humphrey.

"There’s a world where the team's best cornerback trio is Stephens and Rock Ya-Sin on the outside, with Marlon Humphrey kicking inside to the slot," he proposed.

"Humphrey has been one of the NFL's best slot cornerbacks when aligned there, McGuinness added. "After Week 1, as things currently stand on the roster, that would be my pick for how the Ravens line up in Week 1" was the analyst's prediction.

We'll have to wait to see if that ends up being the case, and it's not that the Ravens don't have more opportunities at running some tests and try some defensive schemes rotating the corners they currently employ to see who's who in the defense and who can do the most in the slot.

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