Training Camp Competition: Cornerback

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Left: CB Davontae Harris; Right: CB Khalil Dorsey

In the Hunt

  • Anthony Averett
  • Khalil Dorsey
  • Davontae Harris
  • Marlon Humphrey
  • Iman Marshall
  • Marcus Peters
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Shaun Wade
  • Chris Westry
  • Tavon Young
  • Brandon Stephens

Projected Starters

The Ravens have arguably the best starting cornerbacks in the league. And it's not just the top two. If expanding to the top four, there's hardly a debate. Humphrey is one of the top three cornerbacks in the NFL. Peters, who leads the league in interceptions since he came into the league, is a playmaker quarterbacks are leery to test.

Smith, who re-signed for another season, is still a top-flight physical cornerback when healthy. He can be a starter if needed and is a versatile matchup piece when the secondary is at full strength. The return of Young to the slot is a big boost for the unit overall because it pushes Humphrey back outside and, when healthy, is among the best in the game inside. The slot cornerback is essentially a starter with how often teams go three-wide.

Best Battle

The aforementioned cornerbacks are all just trying to get themselves into peak form before the regular season starts. There's not much of a competition. The real competition starts for the sixth and perhaps seventh(?) cornerback spots. As a third-round pick, Stephens will make the team, whether he counts as a safety or cornerback or both. That leaves Wade, Dorsey, Harris, Westry and Marshall (when he gets back on the field) battling.

Wade is a fifth-round rookie who could also be a good fit in the slot if something were to happen with Young, since that's where Wade shined at Ohio State. But playing nickel in the NFL is much different than college. Dorsey and Harris both made plays in last year's regular season during limited action and looked strong during OTAs and minicamp. Westry also had some shining moments, including an interception, in practice this summer. Special teams will go a long way in determining the final roster spot at cornerback.

Under the Radar

Cornerbacks always get injured. The Ravens are, unfortunately, well versed in that. Thus, Baltimore lives by the mantra that you can never have too many good cornerbacks. Averett isn't a starter in Baltimore, but he would be for many other teams. The fourth-year product out of Alabama has played well when thrust into action when Smith and Young have gone down due to injuries and he will be a key reserve again this season. Heading into a contract year, Averett will be looking to prove he's worthy of a long-term investment from Baltimore or elsewhere.

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