The most improved unit from last season for the Ravens would seemingly be cornerback. With true #1 CB Jimmy Smith back from injury, a hopefully healthy Lardarius Webb, and a developing Rashaan Melvin who came on strong late last season, the team had a solid base. The team added slot corner extraordinaire and Maryland native Kyle Arrington to the mix, drafted raw but promising Tray Walker in the 4th round, and brought in veteran Cassius Vaughn to compete with incumbents Asa Jackson, Tramain Jacobs, and Chris Greenwood for a depth spot at the position. Jackson was in and out of the lineup with injuries on top of his mediocre play, Jacobs spent the season on the practice squad, and Greenwood never saw the field for the team in 2014.
With all that depth and competition at the back end of the depth chart, it is curious that Pointer got reps with the 1st team defense at corner when Asa Jackson, Jacobs, Greenwood, and Walker did not. Does the team see some potential in him that they want to test against higher level competition?
Pointer has followed the Cary Williams path thus-far. A 4 year NFL veteran, Pointer spent 2 years with the Rams on their practice squad after going undrafted. After signing with the Tampa Bay Bucs in the offseason, he was cut right before the season opener. The Ravens signed him to the practice squad in mid December 2014, and then resigned him at the beginning of the off-season.
Pointer played Safety for 4 years at UNLV, and totaled 226 Tackles, 2 sacks, 6 Interceptions, 21 Pass deflections and 5 Forced fumbles. The Ravens have been playing the 5"9 player at CB, and so far he has looked solid. Whether that is enough to make the roster this year is another story. Pointer was measured at 4.42 in the 40 and a 39 inch vertical.
We have yet to see what Pointer brings to the table, but there is definitely a spot on the roster if he shows the ability to make plays. Only the top 4 cornerback spots are spoken for, with Tray Walker a likely 5th since he was a 4th round pick. The Ravens will likely go with 6 at the position, although with safety Anthony Levine's ability to slide over in a pinch, it makes depth less of an issue despite Ozzie Newsome's manta of "You can never have too many corners."
This leaves one spot to be battled over by Pointer, Vaughn, Jackson, Greenwood, and Jacobs. While Vaughn has the most experience, and Jackson has seemingly the best return skills of the group, Pointer is more of an unknown. This battle will be intense and go down to the wire, but one thing is for sure. I wouldn't count out Quinton Pointer just yet!