After Aaron Ross suffered an Achilles injury while running his conditioning test, the doors have opened for guys such as third-year corners Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown. So far this camp, they have proved to be more worthy candidates to take the spot than recently acquired Dominique Franks.
Brown entered camp as the leader, but Jackson has seemed to have closed the gap a little. “I’m going to talk about Asa first,” Ravens Secondary Coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “He has really jumped out there and impressed everybody – players, coaches. He’s doing a lot of things we knew he could do.”
The reason that Jackson hasn’t been able to emerge in his first two years was because of the suspensions he served. In 2012, he missed four games and last year he missed half the season all due to suspensions. Both suspensions were the result of the use of Adderall.
However, according to Spagnuolo, Jackson has matured. “He’s a feisty player, and people are going to knock him because of his lack of height, but he plays big. He’s been really good,” Spagnuolo said.
While Jackson has been the bigger story and has emerged of late, Chykie Brown still has the lead. As long as he continues to perform well in training camp and impress the Ravens staff, he will grab the spot.
However, I wouldn’t totally rule Dominique Franks out of the equation. The only reason that he is currently behind in the battle is because he got a late start. He failed to pass the conditioning test several times and was not activated off the non-football list until Sunday – three days after the start of camp.
“I didn’t know it would be that tough,” Franks said Monday night following a practice at M&T Bank Stadium. “I learned on the first day. Whoo! I definitely know now. If I’m able to sign back here, I’ll definitely be coming in the offseason program so I won’t have to run it again.”
Although he currently has the third-best odds of grabbing this spot, he could easily come from behind and take it. The fifth-year cornerback has a little more experience than the other two guys (Brown and Jackson) as he has participated in 56 games over the last three seasons with the Falcons while recording 30 tackles and three interceptions in that time.
It will ultimately come down to this: will the Ravens take the slightly more potential with a little less experience or the slightly more experience with a little less potential? And if they do take the potential, will they choose Jackson or Brown? All these questions will be answered as we approach the start of preseason.