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Graham shuffles into starting role

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Graham shuffles into starting role

In a matter of weeks, Corey Graham’s role with the Ravens has taken on even greater importance.

Primarily used in nickel coverage packages and special teams, he’s now part of the base defense as the starting cornerback with Jimmy Smith being out because of groin surgery Thursday. Smith had replaced starter Lardarius Webb, who tore a knee ligament last month and is out for the season.

"It’s a little different. I’ve played outside before," Graham said of his new role. "It’s not like the first time I get the opportunity to do it.  … Keep your eyes on your guy, you’ll be alright."

Earlier this week, the Ravens signed free agent defensive back Chris Johnson who played for the Oakland Raiders last season. Johnson has played nine NFL seasons. Neither is as big as Smith, who stands 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.

Cary Williams is in his first season as a starter at the other cornerback slot. He beat out Smith in the preseason to play opposite Webb. Now Williams is the veteran presence along with Graham, who is in his sixth season after spending five years with the Chicago Bears.

Chykie Brown also figured into the secondary rotation behind Graham with Smith out of last week's 55-20 win vs. the Oakland Raiders. He was playing most of his snaps on special teams.

“I thought they played OK. … There were some plays they made and some plays they didn’t make,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Graham and Brown. “We have to do a good job of putting them in the right spot and not asking them to do things that they really can’t do.”

Catching on quickly could prove difficult for Johnson. The Ravens also could activate cornerback Asa Jackson, a rookie fifth-round draft pick. Jackson has yet to be active for a game this season.

“Well all got to go out there and help him get up to speed on what the defense is trying to do,” Graham said. “When you come in this late in the season during the week and you’re expected to play its going to be tough for him.”

 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

We've made in to NFL draft week. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The 2019 NFL Draft is Thursday night in Nashville, Tn. While the chances of pundits predicting each team's first-round pick accurately is about the same as picking the Powerball numbers, we can't seem to stop ourselves from looking at them. Here's a look at 20 prospects mocked to the Ravens at No. 22, courtesy of the Ravens' website.  


2. One of the many exciting parts of the NFL draft is waiting to hear which organizations trade forward or backwards to acquire a pick. Just last year, the Ravens traded back from their No. 16 pick several times to select Hayden Hurst at No. 25, before trading back into the first-round to pick Lamar Jackson at No. 32. But which trade in Ravens history was the most impactful? ESPN's Jamison Hensley selected the Ravens' trade for running back Jamal Lewis.


"In 1999, the Ravens traded their second-round pick (No. 43) for Atlanta's first-round pick in 2000, which they used to land running back Jamal Lewis," Hensley wrote. "The Falcons selected tight end Reggie Kelly, and the Ravens got what turned into the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 draft. Baltimore drafted Lewis, who carried the offense during the team's 2000 Super Bowl championship season and recorded the NFL's fifth 2,000-yard season in 2003."


3. As Marlon Humphrey enters his third year in the league, the cornerback will not only be expected to take on a leadership role within the Ravens' new look defense, but top his impressive sophomore season. In 2018, Humphrey contested 35% of targets thrown into his coverage marking the second-best rate in all the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. 


Looking Ahead:

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get long-term deal done with designated franchise tag player

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

One more week of the NFL offseason in the books. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes:

1. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti donated $100,000 to help rebuilding efforts for three historically black churches in the Louisiana area that recently burned down by an alleged arsonists. An effort led by former tight end Benjamin Watson, Bisciotti reached out to him Sunday committing his donation. 

2. The GOAT gene has transferred from Justin Tucker to his son, Easton. The kicker posted a video on his Instagram Thursday of the little guy kicking a (mini) field goal right down the middle, just like his dad. 

Looking Ahead:

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: