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Sophomore predictions: Marlon Humphrey

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens 2017 rookie class largely disappointed last season. First-round pick Marlon Humphrey emerged as the only major contributor. In this series I will take a look at each player selected by Baltimore in the 2017 NFL Draft and how they could perform in year two.

To begin this series, we of course start with Humphrey, the first-round cornerback from Alabama. Humphrey was selected with the 16th pick by the Ravens. Many fans questioned this selection at the time, but after the 2017 season, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who still disagrees with the decision. Humphrey is in line to take over as the team’s top corner from the injury-prone Jimmy Smith when the time comes.

Humphrey began his rookie year as a rotational corner, with Smith and Brandon Carr as the starters on the outside. After Smith tore his Achilles in Week 13 against the Lions, Humphrey transitioned to a full-time starter. His first test came against the Steelers and star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Humphrey excelled against Brown, proving he has what it takes to match up against number one receivers. Humphrey finished the season with two interceptions and 11 passes defensed.

Going into the 2018 season, Humphrey will be expected to have a much larger role in Baltimore’s defense. With uncertainty regarding Smith’s availability to to start this season, Humphrey is expected to fill his shoes alongside Carr on the outside. The sky is the limit for the soon-to-be 22-year old and such will be evident in year two. The game will only slow down from here for Humphrey, who will prove to be a key piece to the Ravens defense for years to come.