It's no secret the Ravens are in the market for cornerbacks.
"We need to add more corners – there is no question about it – corners that can play at the highest level," Head Coach John Harbaugh said at his season-review press conference.
Premier cornerbacks don't come cheap, so the most likely place to find them will be in the draft. The Ravens have the No. 16-overall pick this year, and ESPN's draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. named four potential cornerback targets at that spot:
- Teez Tabor, Florida
- Quincy Wilson, Florida
- Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- Sidney Jones, Washington
Kiper, who did a national conference call Thursday, predicted in his latest mock draft that the Ravens would take Michigan safety/linebacker Jabrill Peppers in the first round. But cornerback could certainly be in play depending on who is available.
"If you want a corner at that point, you'd probably be looking at a Wilson or Tabor, if one of the two Florida corners slip down that far," Kiper said.
Kiper's top-graded cornerback is Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore, but he's expected to come off the board in the top 10. In his mock draft, Kiper currently has Tabor and Wilson both coming off the board before the Ravens pick, but they are more likely than Lattimore to get to the middle of the first round.
Tabor (6-foot-0, 201 pounds) is a playmaking talent with a knack for getting his hands on the football. He came up with eight interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, during his three years at Florida.
Wilson (6-1, 213) also flashed with plenty of big plays, notching six interceptions in his college career. He also took one of those back for a score.
"Wilson is right there with Tabor on my board," Kiper wrote.
Humphrey (6-1, 196) and Jones (6-1, 170), are both projected by Kiper to be selected after the Ravens' pick, but they could still fit the bill for what the Ravens want on defense. As an Alabama alum, General Manager Ozzie Newsome has certainly seen plenty of Humphrey while watching the Crimson Tide, and Jones has attracted the attention of NFL scouts with nine interceptions in his career.
The Ravens have eyed up first-round cornerbacks in recent years, but potential options like Kansas City's Marcus Peters or Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey went before the Ravens were on the clock.
The Ravens haven't taken a cornerback in the first three rounds since drafting Jimmy Smith at No. 27 overall in 2011, but that trend could change this year.