Everyone knows the Ravens are somewhat desperate for two things on defense—better cornerback play and a bigger pass rush. They just signed a veteran corner—Brandon Carr—on a team-friendly deal (a series of one-year contract options) which is a step in the right direction of beefing up the cornerback depth—but look for Ozzie to draft for even more CB depth in the early rounds next month.
Baltimore has reached an agreement in principle on a four-year deal with former Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr. “This is a good football player,” Ozzie said. “We got better today.”
One special thing the signing of Carr brings is durability—which is a rare commodity in the Ravens’ secondary. The 30-year-old cornerback has started every game throughout his nine-year career, playing in 144-straight games.
Carr had 61 tackles, nine passes defensed and one interception last year for the Cowboys. He likely will take the open starting cornerback spot opposite Jimmy Smith.
The Ravens had reportedly also been interested in another Cowboys cornerback, Morris Claiborne, but the New York Jets have reportedly agreed to a deal with Claiborne.
More help at cornerback is expected to be found in the Draft. Baltimore might not even have to use the No. 16 pick on a corner to find an immediate starter at the position. The Ravens could address needs like receiver or pass rusher with the No. 16 pick, and then look to the second day to address cornerback.
“This is a great corner class,” NFL Network’s draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “If you don’t get one in the first round, you can come back in the second or third round and really help yourself.”
Baltimore hasn’t selected a cornerback in the first three rounds since 2011 (Jimmy Smith), but that trend is likely to change this year.
Here are some of the players Mayock named as potential options in the second or third round:
Adoree’ Jackson (5-foot-11, 185 pounds), USC
Tre’Davious White (5-11, 191), LSU
Gareon Conley (6-0, 195), Ohio State
Quincy Wilson (6-1, 213), Florida
Teez Tabor (6-0, 191), Florida
Ahkello Witherspoon (6-3, 195), Colorado
Cordrea Tankersley (6-1, 195), Clemson
Cameron Sutton (5-11, 182), Tennessee
Howard Wilson (6-1, 186), Houston
Conley, Wilson, Witherspoon and Tankersley are all big, tall cornerbacks who can play press coverage, and the Ravens will have plenty of options at their disposal if they decide to go that route in the draft. “People are looking for long corners, and I think there are more 6-foot guys in this class than I have ever seen,” Mayock said.
Brandon Carr, by the way, is 6-feet tall, weighs 210 and runs about a 4.55 ’40-yard these days. He was drafted in the 5th Round out of Grand Valley State back in 2008 by the Kansas City Chiefs. For his career, he has 552 tackles, 110 passes defensed, 15 interceptions and 2 TD’s.