While most of the attention has been put on the moves made by the Baltimore Ravens to boost their offensive unit, the truth is that there are still some issues and things worth fixing on the defensive side of the ball.
Valuable defensive veterans such as Calais Campbell, Marcus Peters, and Chuck Clark left Baltimore through the last few days and weeks on their way to other franchises.
The likes of Justin Houston and Kyle Fuller remain unsigned in free agency but they aren't members of the Ravens anymore, at this point at least, either. What gives?
Following the departures of Marcus Peters and Kyle Fuller, two prominent members of the Ravens' secondary along with staple Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens signed former Las Vegas Raiders CB Rock Ya-Sin to take on the CB2 role. Then, on Monday, July 24, the Ravens signed slot corner Arthur Maulet to fill a very open hole in the defense.
Entering training camp, though, there are still questions involving the cornerback unit past the trio of penciled-in starters comprised of Humphrey, Ya-Sin, and Maulet. That is one of the battles Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus envisions taking place through the Ravens training camp this summer.
"Cornerback depth is never a bad thing: The Ravens could go in a number of directions at slot cornerback, even slotting Marlon Humphrey back into the role."- Gordon McGuinness, PFF
While Humphrey and Ya-Sin can be considered locks to man the CB1 and CB2, boundary-corner roles, there were doubts about who would take on the starting duties at the slot on defense.
Arthur Maulet could be that man after specializing in the role in Pittsburgh for the past two seasons, but that's still questionable.
McGuinness offers six options as potential candidates to fill the role, including Damarion Williams, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Kyu Blu Kelly, Trayvon Mullen, Kevon Seymour, and Daryl Worley.
According to the analyst, it wouldn’t be "a big surprise" to see the Ravens add a player to fill the role, which they already did by signing Maulet. However, he thinks that "Damarion Williams should probably be viewed as the favorite" to take on the starting position or at least get the most snaps after Maulet.
McGuinness also offers a more extreme alternative: using Mullen, Worley, Kyu, and/or Armour-Davis outside while "kicking Marlon Humphrey inside to the slot." According to the writer's research, Humphrey "has earned an 84.4 PFF coverage grade from the slot" in the last four seasons, which ranks as "the best mark in the league."
Of course, as McGuinness himself points out, the main problem is that Baltimore would be losing its best outside cornerback, which "doesn’t feel like a wise move unless the team is forced into it."
Luckily that's no longer the case with the arrival of Arthur Maulet on Monday and his talent being good enough to consider him a day-one starter at the slot-corner role.