With the signing of Brandon Carr, the Ravens no longer have as much of a pressing need to draft a corner in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. While the Ravens still should select a corner in the first three rounds in order to provide immediate depth, the team can now also select a developmental corner in the fifth or sixth round and allow them time to grow. Here are two talented cornerbacks that are likely to be day three picks, but whom could grow into starting caliber players in the NFL.
Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan
Stribling is a talented corner from the University of Michigan that started opposite Jourdan Lewis in 2016. In the sixth edition of my seven round Ravens mock draft, I had the Ravens selecting Stribling in the fifth round. I wrote the following about Stribling in that post:
At his pro day, Stribling ran slightly faster than he did at the Combine (4.57 at pro day, 4.60 at the Combine). Neither of these are blazing times, but Stribling, as I mentioned above, is able to use his size and ball skills to recover. Stribling will have time to refine his technique in Baltimore, but size and ball skills are not something you cannot be taught. Stribling has those things, and thus should be appealing to teams on day three.
Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
Wilson is another player I have had the Ravens selecting in my seven rounds mocks. I selected him with the fifth round pick in my most recent edition of the seven round mock. I wrote the following about Wilson in that post:
Similarly to Stribling, Wilson has size and ball skills, but needs time to refine his technique. In addition, he will have to improve his strength. Wilson is relatively skinny for his height, and, as Lance Zierlein mentions in Wilson’s draft profile, the Houston corner will have to undergo a full year of an NFL weight lifting program. Again, similarly to Stribling, what Wilson needs to work on is concepts and traits that can be taught. Length and ball skills are something that cannot be taught, and something that Wilson has. If he is able to put his game together, like Stribling, Wilson could be successful in the NFL.
Stribling and Wilson both fit the mold of a day three developmental corner with potential that the Ravens may be targeting. Selecting two corners in this year’s draft seems necessary for the Ravens. One in the earlier rounds, maybe Fabian Moreau in the second or third, that could step in and have an immediate impact if Carr or Jimmy Smith were to get hurt, and another like Stribling or Wilson that won’t be ready to have an immediate impact, but could have one down the road. Ozzie Newsome could never have too many defensive backs on his roster, and with a draft class loaded at corner, this year may be a good a chance as any to infuse youth into the secondary.