The Baltimore Ravens already have a pair of All-Pro cornerbacks on their roster and headlining their secondary in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. According to Defensive Coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale, they have three players at the position capable of playing at that elite level with the third being Anthony Averett.
“He’s one of my favorites,” Martindale said. “I think the kid has All-Pro talent. I tell him that every day, and he’s practicing that way this year.”
Martindale has been high on the 2018 fourth-round pick out of Alabama since his second year when he was called on for more extensive action due to injuries.
He went as far as to call him the third-best corner on the team behind Humphrey and Peters which is lofty praise considering that the Ravens have a former first-round pick at cornerback in Jimmy Smith still on the roster. While Smith has been sidelined with his latest injury, Averett has been taking advantage of the additional opportunities in practice, rotating with the first-team defense, having success and translating that into games.
“You’re really seeing everything go from the practice field to games now and you can just see his confidence build,” said Martindale. “It doesn’t matter who he’s covering to him. He just goes out and covers them and that’s what you like about your corners.”
In the Ravens’ 17-14 win over the New Orleans Saints, Averett did surrender a touchdown in tight coverage but also made a handful of nice plays as well. His most impressive play on the night came on a near interception he made when he aggressively broke on a ball at the same time as the intended receiver, resulting in a pass breakup.
Averett is a physically gifted corner who provides great depth to the Ravens and would likely start for many teams. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, becoming an All-Pro, barring an injury to one of the top guys, is likely not within his reach in 2021. However, he could position himself to earn a nice payday and a chance to earn a starting job elsewhere if he continues to play well in the preseason, as well as when called upon in both the regular and postseason.