Baltimore Ravens rookie cornerback Tavon Young was a personal favorite of mine throughout the draft process and so far, he is showing why. Ravens defensive backs coach Leslie Frazier has gone out of his way to praise him and the reports on Young’s daily improvements have been forthcoming at just that rate.
The compliment of the “game not being too big for him” is perhaps the strongest endorsement that can be given to a rookie. Defensive backs, veterans included, have traditionally struggled to pick up the mental aspects of the defensive scheme under Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees. For a rookie to come in, buck the trend and pick it up seamlessly speaks volumes.
Young’s skill set is reminiscent of a younger Lardarius Webb. Young is more likely to be successful at outside corner than his counterpart Jerraud Powers, which gives him the edge in the versatility department, even though it is not likely to make a deciding difference.
Powers is now performing catch up mode, though he does have NFL experience and a good resume to go along with it. Power’s minicamp performance shows he also did not struggle grasping the intricacies of the scheme.
The worst case scenario for Young will see him as the second slot cornerback. At the very least, Young will give the Ravens the ability to match against spread sets with any personnel grouping the team prefers.