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Position Review/Preview: Cornerback

CB Brandon Stephens
CB Brandon Stephens

Players Under Contract

  • Jalyn Armour-Davis
  • Marlon Humphrey
  • Christian Matthew
  • Brandon Stephens
  • Tre Swilling
  • Damarion "Pepe" Williams

Pending Free Agents

  • Ronald Darby
  • Arthur Maulet
  • Trayvon Mullen
  • Rock Ya-Sin
  • Kevon Seymour

Season in Review

A major part of Baltimore's defensive success last season revolved around the play of the secondary. The Ravens allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards per game (191.9).

Perhaps the biggest bright spot was the emergence of Stephens as a full-time starter. He was the team's most consistent cornerback. Even though Stephens was the NFL's most targeted cornerback, he held up well, surrendering just 10.9 yards per reception, a 63.6 reception percentage, and two touchdowns, per Pro Football Focus.

On the other side of the defense, Humphrey's season got off to a tough start due to a training camp foot surgery and he struggled to stay healthy from there. Humphrey missed a career-high seven games. When he was on the field and healthy, he still showed signs of why he's one of the game's top cornerbacks, but a rebound season for the veteran will be paramount.

Training camp addition Darby played well stepping in for Humphrey and fellow veteran addition Maulet also had some good moments. They were signed, however, because the Ravens unfortunately didn't get much more information on Armour-Davis and Williams. The second-year cornerbacks again finished the season on injured reserve, as Armour-Davis played just 28 defensive snaps and Williams didn't see any action.

What to Watch This Offseason

Cornerback will be a big need again this offseason, with Baltimore likely taking swings at it in the draft and free agency. Last offseason, the Ravens didn't draft a cornerback until the fifth round (Kyu Blu Kelly) and he didn't make the team. Feeding the pipeline will be critical this offseason.

The Ravens have their top two cornerbacks in Humphrey and Stephens, so that's a good starting point. But they must figure out their depth behind them and who will share the nickel duties with Kyle Hamilton. It will be a critical summer for Armour-Davis and Williams as they look to establish themselves. Baltimore will add veterans (whether re-signing Darby/others or bringing in new blood) and add more youth via the draft. The Ravens could also look to sign Stephens to a contract extension before he starts his fourth (contract) year.

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