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Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey on competing for starting role, depth of secondary

The second-year corner is battling for a starting role.

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

Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey had a strong year in his first season as a pro, recording two interceptions and 18 pass deflections on the season. Although he played in all 16 games in 2017, he does see ways he can improve in his second year, considering Humphrey had to sit behind starters Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr at the beginning of the year.

“I just kind of do what I can. Like I said earlier this year, however many reps I get – whether it’s full game, half a game, a few reps – I think you can make an impact, whether it’s one rep or 10. So, however many reps come my way, I’ll be happy – glad to take whatever.”

Humphrey was eventually able to make more starts down the stretch, finishing with five. However, some of those starts came after Smith tore his Achilles. Now that Smith has returned from injury and Carr is also back with the team, Humphrey will have to battle for a starting role once again.

“I think everybody wants to start, but I do know there’s a time for everything,” Humphrey said of wanting to win the starting job. “Jimmy [Smith] and Brandon Carr have done this for a long time, so I’m just trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can from them.”

The team also has much more depth at the position on paper than in years past. Cornerback Anthony Averett and safety DeShon Elliott were both drafted in April, and slot corner Tavon Young is returning from an ACL tear that he suffered before the 2017 preseason.

“I definitely think we’ve got a really big depth. I know as it gets closer to that time it’ll be a tough decision to make to see who makes the team and who doesn’t. Adding Anthony [Averett] and some of the other undrafted guys, DeShon [Elliott], definitely got a lot of guys competing. It’s going to be definitely fun. The more you can do, the better you can do.”

Baltimore will get a big boost from Smith returning from his aforementioned injury. He provided three interceptions, which was third on the team. Carr was second with four interceptions and safety Eric Weddle owned the team lead with six.

The Ravens will also return starting strong safety Tony Jefferson as well as reserve corner Maurice Canady. With corner Jaylen Hill on the PUP list possibly set to return, Baltimore has a number of solid players in their secondary fighting for position.