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What can Rashaan Melvin be for the Ravens?

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Melvin was a pleasant surprise for the Ravens down the stretch. But what can he be going forward?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rashaan Melvin has played very well for a cornerback that was on Miami's practice squad not two months ago. Before Saturday's loss to New England he allowed only 10 out of 22 passes attempted his way to be completed for a total of 106 yards and no touchdowns, which is significantly better than what the other cornerbacks not named Jimmy Smith have allowed.

Melvin could be with the Ravens after next season as his his contract is good up to 2016, when he becomes a restricted free agent. At age 25, he's younger than Jimmy Smith, and at 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds he has the physical build of a prototype cornerback, as well as NFL combine statistics that measure up very favorably to Smith's.

That being said, there are plenty of prototype corners who don't turn out as expected. And just because Melvin has the prototype make-up it doesn't mean that the Ravens should forget about drafting a cornerback and just throw Melvin across from Jimmy Smith and expect to have the No. 1 rated secondary in the NFL.

But Melvin can still at the very least be a serviceable corner like Corey Graham or Cary Williams (minus the penalties) and that should help the Ravens moving forward.