The NFL combine concludes Monday, with defensive backs doing on-field workouts. Improving the secondary is one of the Ravens’ top offseason priorities. Here are three ways the Ravens are addressing that issue:
1. This draft is loaded with corners and safeties, so the Ravens should land at least one.
Florida St. corner-safety Jalen Ramsey and Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves are both possibilities for the Ravens at No. 6. If the Ravens still haven’t drafted a defensive back by Round 2, here are five names to watch – cornerback Mackensie Alexander (Clemson), cornerback Eli Apple (Ohio St.), safety Vonn Bell (Ohio St.), safety Jeremy Cash (Duke), and cornerback Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech), a Baltimore native. Fuller will not participate in on-field combine workouts, but says he is nearly recovered from knee surgery.
2. Lardarius Webb’s move from corner to safety will give the Ravens a different look.
Both general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh remain steadfast that Webb won’t be just an average safety, but a good one.
“To me, he’s got a chance to go back there and move around and make plays on the back end,” Harbaugh said at the combine. “He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s a smart football player and he learns fast. So I don’t think he’s going to have any problem picking up the position, plus he gives you flexibility. You can drop him down and cover receivers in the slot. You can blitz him. He can play outside if you wanted to. You can really matchup pretty well with him at safety in a lot of different ways. I also think he has a feel for zone coverage. He’s got a knack back there, he’s got good ball skills. So he should be a really good safety.”
3. Hiring Leslie Frazier as the new defensive backs coach will bring a different voice.
The addition of Frazier, a former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator, could be one of the Ravens’ better offseason moves.
“First of all, he’s a really, really good human being,” Harbaugh said. “I know the players will respect him and like him. He’s got credibility as a player. He was a starting corner. He’s a 6-foot-2, 215-pound press corner. That’s a lot to respect there.”
There is no guarantee the Ravens’ secondary will be better. But they are definitely making changes.