Skip to main content

Veteran Jerraud Powers 'Dominating' At Nickel Cornerback


The Ravens used a point system in offseason practices to keep track of which defenders got their hands on the ball and how often. They counted forced fumbles, interceptions and even just picking up a loose ball.

So who topped the leaderboard at the end of minicamp?

"Jerraud Powers is kind of dominating everyone," cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "I think he has like five or six picks."

The veteran Powers signed with the Ravens in mid-May and has quickly made his presence felt. He could be the Ravens' next Corey Graham, who became a key part of the 2012 Super Bowl defense.

With Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright as the projected starters on the outside, Powers is in line to be the Ravens' No. 3 cornerback and mostly play in the slot. That suits Powers just fine. In fact, it's what drew him to Baltimore.

"I knew if I wanted to extend my career, I wanted an opportunity to play nickel," Powers said. "I think my attributes best fit that position."

Powers is 28 years old and heading into his eighth season. The former Arizona Cardinal started every game he's played in except five, and been quite steady. He consistently receives solid grades in coverage and run support, and Powers has made at least one interception every season (11 career).

Still, Powers sat on the free-agent market for about two months. That was also fine by him. Powers said he could have signed multi-year deals with two teams, but opted to wait and eventually inked a one-year contract with the Ravens.

He wants to prove that he is a valuable utility cornerback. And in order to do that, he needed more time at nickel. The Ravens, who previously had rookie fourth-round pick Tavon Young and Kyle Arrington as their top slot corners, offered that chance. Now Young can develop more before being thrown into the fire.

"I could have got off the market quick," Powers said. "But I felt like the number I was offered, I didn't want to be stuck somewhere where I felt my value was less than it was. I'm willing to bet on myself for a year, and hopefully I'll be here long-term when it's all said and done."

Powers also thinks moving to nickel will help extend his career because the league has shifted to wanting taller, bigger corners on the outside. Powers stands at just 5-foot-10, 187 pounds, so he wasn't going to stay on the perimeter for long.

"Guys are looking for the Jimmy sizes (6-foot-2, 206 pounds)," Powers said. "Once you hit 30, going into your ninth year, nobody is looking for a 5-foot-10 corner on the outside. I just wanted the opportunity to play nickel."

Powers had a couple of impressive interceptions while working against the first-team offense in minicamp. He jumped one out route and would have likely raced for a touchdown in a game. He made a diving end zone interception in red-zone drills another minicamp practice.

Powers could still end up playing outside if needed. While the Ravens have a lot more depth at cornerback this year than in the past couple seasons, injuries can always change things, as Baltimore has unfortunately seen. Either inside or out, Powers is boosting the Ravens secondary.

Secondary Coach Leslie Frazier said Powers has been a "tremendous asset" since he arrived.

"His experience shows up for us at practice – his communication, how smart he is and his athletic ability," Frazier said. "There's not a lot of drop-off when he lines up on the slot receiver. He brings a lot of experience and a lot of play-making ability at that spot."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content