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Cornerback class on Day 3 still enticing for Ravens, but there’s no guarantee they’ll draft one

Ravens still see cornerback options entering Day 3, but they may not be in such a rush to draft one

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Day 2 of the 2023 NFL draft closed with the Baltimore Ravens yet to select a cornerback. Many cited the position as their greatest need entering the draft, marginally ahead of wide receiver. At No. 22 overall, they opted for the latter, to which Ravens fans cheered as the front office surrounded quarterback Lamar Jackson with more weapons.

On Day 2, the Ravens picked an inside linebacker, a position they’re relatively strong at. True to form, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta stated linebacker Trenton Simpson was their best player available and was linebackers coach Zachary Orr’s No. 1 linebacker.

So what of cornerback? Some big names are still on the board and the Ravens hold three picks on Day 3. DeCosta shared there are still guys they will consider taking.

“There’s always an element of luck involved and teams taking other players but as we look up there in this coming round we see some guys that we would consider taking in the fourth round for sure, definitely,” DeCosta said. “...We have a board where we see players that we would take in the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round, definitely.”

But DeCosta isn’t promising a cornerback via the draft. In fact, he may be hinting they’re interested in filling the need by way of free agency.

“And I’ll tell you, that’s an important’ve seen us, we realize the value of that position and we’ll continue to address that via the draft, via other means, there’s a lot of opportunities out there for us to get better at that position and the draft is certainly part of that,” DeCosta said.

It’s likely the Ravens are waiting until signing unrestricted free agents no longer count against the compensatory pick formula, as the Ravens are hoping to net a fourth-round pick after losing offensive lineman Ben Powers this offseason. They already had a possible sixth-round compensatory pick cancelled out by signing wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

But, regarding cornerback, the Ravens like those in the draft, both who can play outside and inside. According to Ravens Director of Player Personnel, there’s a lot of versatility at the position remaining for them to consider.

“I’d say there is a combination of both [outside and slot cornerbacks] on the board right now for us,” Hortiz said. “Again, we mention versatility all the time, we can project players inside that may not play inside in college but their movement skills, their toughness, their instincts, so there are some guys on the board that may not have the experience playing inside that we feel they can move inside.”