Maurice Canady knows the feeling for getting overlooked a little too well.
As the Ravens sixth-round pick waited and waited for his name to get called on NFL Draft weekend, it reminded him a little of the college recruiting process. Canady flew under the radar as a high school player, garnering only a two-star grade from recruiting services.
Many big-time programs passed on him before he accepted a scholarship offer at Virginia and ultimately became a starter his first year on campus.
After four seasons as a starting cornerback for the Cavaliers, Canady again found himself in a familiar position. He saw team after team look elsewhere in the draft – 208 players went before him, including 28 cornerbacks – before the Ravens made him their final pick in their class.
"I have a huge chip on my shoulder right now," Canady said.* *"I just have to prove myself like I proved myself since high school. I was a two-star [recruit], and I started my first day at Virginia. Proving myself is just another task to check off my list."
The fact that Canady fell to the sixth round is somewhat surprising based on his size and production.
The 6-foot-1, 195-defender has ideal size for what the Ravens want in their cornerbacks. He also put up solid numbers throughout his college career, collecting five interceptions, 29 passes defensed, a fumble recovery and 148 tackles. Virginia also used him as a return man, and he took back a punt for a 74-yard touchdown last year.
"I thought I was going a little earlier," Canady said. "It just didn't fall that way. God has a plan, so I couldn't worry too much about it."
Some of the NFL's top cornerbacks actually have similar draft stories, and Canady knows that well. Seattle's Richard Sherman and Washington's Josh Norman were both fifth-round selections, and they have both been first-team All-Pro selections.
"It's a lot of guys that went later or undrafted," Canady said. "That just adds fuel to the fire."
As much as Canady wanted to hear his name called earlier on draft weekend, he may have ended up in the perfect place. The Ravens need young players to step up at cornerback and the depth chart is not set by any means.
He immediately enters a competition for a roster spot that will last throughout the summer, and he'll have a chance to once again prove himself.
"It's all going to show," Canady said. "My hard work, my competitiveness, and my toughness – it's just going to show."