The Ravens know as well as any team the importance of quality cornerback depth.
They scrambled in the secondary the last couple of seasons because of injuries, and a priority during this offseason was to develop young players who would be ready to step in if needed.
Sheldon Price is one of those young defenders, and the Ravens got a good look at him over the last few months. He actually took most of the reps with the first-team defense during minicamp and Organized Team Activities because starter Jimmy Smith was sidelined after a foot procedure.
"He's making the most of it," Secondary Coach Leslie Frazier said of Price's time with the starters during last month's minicamp.
Price didn't look out of place with the first-team defense, and the 25-year-old defender showed he may be ready to have more on his plate.
"The fact that he's been able to get his hands on some balls and makes some plays gives us some confidence as we are trying to develop guys in the secondary and get some depth at corner," Frazier said.
Price went undrafted in 2013 and was initially signed by the Indianapolis Colts. He bounced between the Colts active roster and practice squad for the next three years before the Ravens picked him up last October. Price spent one game on Baltimore's active roster.
He's now going into training camp fighting for a job, and a chance to carve out a spot as an important role-player. The Ravens are somewhat thin at outside cornerback, and the 6-foot-2, 198-pound Price has all the physical tools to earn a spot.
"His length is probably his biggest asset," Frazier said. "He's one of those guys who has good size, and he runs fairly well. He's a pretty smart football player as well."
While the Ravens liked what they saw from Price, reps will be more difficult for him to come by when training camp opens later this month. Smith expects to be full strength and Will Davis will also return after recovering from last year's torn ACL. With Smith and Davis back on the field, Price will likely go back to working with the second-team defense.
But the Ravens also know that injuries can happen, and they want Price to be ready if an opportunity comes his way.
"Hopefully, Jimmy will come back and be 100 percent and play all 16 games with no injuries. But you need quality depth in this league in the secondary," Frazier said. "Hopefully Sheldon will help provide that."