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Late for Work: Nate Wiggins' Offseason Goal Is Gaining Weight

CB Nate Wiggins
CB Nate Wiggins

Nate Wiggins' Goal Is Gaining Weight This Offseason

Nate Wiggins has heard the talk about his slender physique being a concern as he transitions from college to the NFL.

The first-round cornerback, who is 6-foot-1, 182 pounds, answered his critics during his appearance on “Glenn Clark Radio” yesterday.

"When people bring up my weight, I just say look at film," Wiggins said. "You don't really see folks pushing me around."

That said, Wiggins added that he plans to put on weight this offseason.

"I'm only 20 years old. I ain't even fully [grown] yet," Wiggins said. "When I gain 10-15 pounds, it's just going to be scary. Gaining 10-15 pounds, that's my No. 1 goal."

General Manager Eric DeCosta expressed a similar sentiment when asked about Wiggins' weight during a media session this week.

"There's this perception that Nate is this skinny, skinny guy," DeCosta said. "I don't look at it as much of a problem. I think there's an opportunity to get him stronger; I think we do a good job of that. I saw a guy that was a competitive player. I saw a guy that wanted to be a physical player. Getting stronger is only going to help his game. If you love his game right now, you have to be really excited about what he could be."

Isaiah Likely on a Leaner Lamar Jackson: 'If Y'all Thought He Was Fast Before …'

While Wiggins bulking up is scary for Baltimore's opponents, Lamar Jackson slimming down should instill fear as well. That's what tight end Isaiah Likely told Kay Adams on FanDuel TV's "Up & Adams."

Likely said the first time he saw Jackson this offseason, [comma] he almost didn't recognize him. Jackson confirmed on social media this week that he weighs 205, down from 230 two years ago and 215 last year.

"'I'm just gonna say now, if y'all thought 'L' was fast before and 'L' couldn't get caught before …" Likely said.

The prospect of a faster version of the two-time league MVP caused Adams, a Cincinnati Bengals fan, to feign walking off the set.

"Are you telling me that there's yet another level to this cat that we have not seen, this MVP MVP?" Adams asked.

Likely said: "I don't know if unanimous is going to be the word this year. That's all I'm gonna say."

An exasperated Adams replied: "Ah [crap]. That's terrifying."

Pundit Says Ravens Are the AFC Team That Can Dethrone Chiefs

If anyone can prevent the Kansas City Chiefs from becoming the first team to win three consecutive Super Bowls, it's the Ravens, Fox Sports' Chris Broussard said.

"My answer is Baltimore because obviously, they got Derrick Henry," Broussard said on FS1's "First Things First." "As good as their run game always is, it's going to be better with him. I think he's going to open things up for Lamar's running but also his passing. You are going to have to now worry about Derrick Henry.

"I also think that they learned from that AFC Championship Game. Be who you are. Do you. Run the football. … Defensively, I know they lost some guys, but their culture is defense and running the football, and I think they're going to play to that, so yeah, I got Baltimore."

Broussard's colleagues on the show, Nick Wright and Greg Jennings, disagreed. They believe it's the Houston Texans who stand the best chance of knocking off the Chiefs. The Ravens beat the Texans twice last season, including 34-10 in the playoffs, but Houston has also made some key offseason additions.

On a related note, ESPN's Mina Kimes said how far the Ravens go this season largely depends on whether the offense can build on the success it had in the passing game under coordinator Todd Monken last season.

"It creates more space for Lamar Jackson," Kimes said on "NFL Live." "He's not running from behind those ultra-heavy formations into stacked boxes anymore, so he's less likely to take the sort of hits I think we would be worried about.

"You are seeing some pretty dramatic changes on that offensive line … so there's loss there, but then you add Derrick Henry, and you get Mark Andrews back from the injury. So there's some negatives, but they're outweighed by the gains as well as the continuity you get this year with Todd Monken."

Ravens Have One of Most Improved Secondaries After Draft

Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema identified the Ravens as one of five teams who improved their secondary the most with the draft.

"The Ravens' coverage unit looked great last season based on grades (93.0), ranking second in the NFL. But when narrowing that focus to just cornerbacks, they fell to 13th (71.4)," Sikkema wrote. "Their only consistent cornerback starter who graded above 70.0 in coverage was Ronald Darby, who is now on the Jaguars.

"Safe to say, the team needed to upgrade in that area. Baltimore acquired one of the most talented coverage players in the class in Wiggins and then got a steal (relative to the PFF big board) in T.J. Tampa in Round 4. Wiggins could start right away for the team, while Tampa could be an ideal reserve in his rookie season and a potential long-term starter."

One Last Offseason Move Ravens Urged to Make

Speaking of the secondary, PFF’s Gordon McGuinness said the one offseason move the Ravens still need to make is adding a veteran safety.

"The Ravens lost Geno Stone in free agency, and while his high snap count in 2023 was mainly a product of Marcus Williams' injury, he was still a vital part of the team's safety rotation," McGuinness wrote. "With how Baltimore likes to use Kyle Hamilton as a defensive weapon, the team would benefit from some additional help at safety.

"After waiting until the seventh round to address the position with the selection of Purdue's Sanoussi Kane, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Ravens add a veteran before training camp."

One intriguing option is two-time Pro Bowler Justin Simmons, who is arguably the top free agent at any position still on the market.

"If the 30-year-old is looking for another nice payday and a guaranteed starting job, Baltimore probably isn't the place for him," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "However, if he's trying to chase a ring and is intent on joining a top-flight defense, signing with the Ravens would make sense."

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