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Grading the Ravens first round selection: Marlon Humphrey

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft board started out poorly, as two wide receivers went inside of the top seven. However, then team’s traded up for quarterbacks, which allowed many blue chip prospects to fall down to the Ravens. And then Ozzie Newsome passed on all of them.

I get it, the motto is trust Ozzie. We all know that Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama players, but he picked the wrong one.

Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster and O.J. Howard were all on the board when the Ravens came onto the clock, but the Ravens picked Marlon Humphrey.

They Ravens have had a win now mindset all offseason, dishing out big money to Brandon Williams and Tony Jefferson. But now the Ravens have selected a player who will not help them in the immediate future.

The Ravens signed Brandon Carr to play opposite Jimmy Smith, thus filling a major hole in the secondary. With Marlon Humphrey still needing to develop his technique, he might not see much of the field in his rookie season. Humphrey struggled to defend the deep ball, and now will be placed in a division with Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Corey Coleman and John Ross among other big time deep threats.

In addition, the Ravens passed on players who would have had a bigger impact in the immediate future than Humphrey. Reuben Foster would have immediately stepped into the middle linebacker spot next to C.J. Mosley, and Jonathan Allen would have taken the open defensive end spot left by the Timmy Jernigan trade.

Thus my grade for this draft pick is a C-. This is because of the previously stated reasons, the board played out in a way that the Ravens could get a elite defensive player, and Newsome passed on those players to take a player who won’t have an immediate impact on a team that wants to win in 2017.

Carr’s contract is set up in a way that he could be leaving Baltimore after the 2017 season and Humphrey would then move into the starting corner spot opposite Jimmy Smith. But then what was the point of signing Carr?

The Ravens had questions about Fosters’ character, which were legitimate, but he filled an immediate need, and is a much higher caliber player than Humphrey. Allen has no character concerns, and reports were that his shoulder injury was minor. Allen is another player of a much higher caliber than Humphrey. It will be interesting to hear the team’s rationale for passing on these two players.

Now, Humphrey is by no means a bad player. Coming into tonight, Humphrey was my second highest rated corner. He has really good speed, posting a 4.41 time in the 40 yard dash. He also shows to be a very physical player on tape. Plus, unlike many rookie corners, Humphrey is effective playing press. His issues lie largely in covering the deep ball. If he can work out those technique issues, then he could be a clone of Jimmy Smith. John Harbaugh said of the pick, “This is the strongest we’ve been in the secondary in a long time.”

The grade of a C- is largely due to who the Ravens passed up on to get Humphrey. In a year where it seems that many jobs will be on the line, picking a guy who may not have an impact in his first year is a huge risk. I would have preferred the Ravens take a player who can help them now as opposed to down the road. I really want to be wrong on this analysis. I’m choosing not to trust Ozzie, please prove me wrong.