We say it, we breathe it, we believe it. The motto is and always will be, “In Ozzie we trust”. But in the 2016 draft, it felt as if one of the Ravens’ biggest needs was hardly addressed, cornerback. Attempts to trade up and select current Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey failed, and as a result, the Ravens decided upon left tackle Ronnie Stanley, by no means a bad consolation. But the Ravens continued to wait, and wait, to pick a corner.
It wasn’t until the fourth round the Ravens selected an undersized kid from Temple, named Tavon Young. Questions surrounded the Maryland native, wondering if his size would make it hard for him to cover stud AFC North receivers like A.J. Green. It seemed that waiting so long to take a corner would ultimately prove to hurt the Ravens, as the secondary was bad in the beginning of the 2016 season.
Following an injury to starting corner Shareece Wright, the Ravens secondary felt doomed for yet another season. The Ravens turned to Young, and Young revitalized the Ravens.
Young has started the last four games, including Thursday Night against the Browns. Tavon has stood out in a good way each time he has stepped onto the field. In his four starts, Young face elite wide receivers, notably, Antonio Brown in Week 9, and doing a solid job when matched up on the superstar.
Young also provided the big plays the Ravens secondary desperately lacked last year. As a team, the Ravens only forced six interceptions in 2015. Through only nine games in 2016, Young already has two. Young has also defended four passes, including two in Week 10 and one of which is shown in the main image above, where Young knocked the ball away from the bigger, and speedier, Corey Coleman.
In addition, Young also made one fumble recovery. The Ravens continually put the rookie in big spots, and he continues to make plays. In a way only few rookies can, Young executed with the spotlight glaring upon him.
Since the bye week, the Ravens defense appears unstoppable. The combination of Young and Jimmy Smith has made for a secondary that is significantly harder to throw against than we have seen in recent weeks. While many were nervous about the lack of attention paid to cornerbacks in the draft, it turns out that, yet again, GM Ozzie Newsome found a gem. In Ozzie we trust.