NFL Draft: Cornerbacks to Watch for Baltimore Ravens


Oct 25, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Trae Waynes (15) stands on the field between plays during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-11. Mandatory Credit:

Mike Carter


It is no secret that the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary has struggled this season. The game most fresh in fans’ memories is the horrific blowout loss to the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger picked apart the Ravens secondary throwing for 340 yards and six touchdowns. It left many fans, including myself, with a bad taste in their mouths and looking gloomily toward the next seven weeks of the season.

While the Ravens have made moves to work on fixing the secondary this season, I do not believe Tramain Jacobs and Danny Gorrer are the long-term answers. I think the Ravens could look to the draft. The 2015 draft class is loaded with top-end cornerback talent. Here are a few guys to watch as the season progresses.

Marcus Peters CB Washington

Marcus Peters is the best corner in this draft, and to me it isn’t very close. Although, I don’t think anyone will be watching Peters anymore this season, as he was just dismissed from Washington this morning. However, from his tape he is still better than the other corners in the draft.

Peters best attribute is his recovery speed. He can be five yards off in coverage, bait the quarterback to throw the ball and then use his quick feet and speed to either make a pass deflection or interception. He also reads plays well and is a very instinctive player. It will be very interesting to see how his dismissal effects where he is drafted.

Trae Waynes CB Michigan State

Trae Waynes was a part of the no-fly-zone secondary that was headed by last year’s 24th overall pick Darqueze Denard. Waynes was often overshadowed by Denard, but he is also a very solid talent at cornerback.

Waynes is almost an exact opposite of Denard in coverage. Denard was very physical and was fantastic in press coverage. Waynes is much better in off coverage, using his quick feet and fluid hips to keep up with receivers. Waynes always seems to be around the ball; he can definitely be a playmaker and a ballhawk. The only big knock on him is that he does miss tackles, which some coaches can live with and think they can fix, while others will stay away from him.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was very close to declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft but chose to stay another year at Oregon. Ekpre-Olomu does have positives on his tape, such as being solid in run defense and positioning himself to make a play on the ball, but he also has more negatives than Peters and Waynes.

He definitely can get burned for big plays. On his tape he gets burned quite often if he doesn’t land his jam on press coverage. He is a top-tier corner when he lands his jam, but when he misses it almost always leads to a big play. He does fairly well in off coverage. He isn’t the fastest corner, but he has quick reactions which help him keep up with top speed receivers. Ekpre-Olomu started the year slow, but if he can learn to flip his hips and land his jam more often, he can go back to the probably first-round status he possessed last year.

P.J. Williams CB Florida State

Florida State just seems to deliver defensive talent constantly. The Ravens took Timmy Jernigan and Terrence Brooks in the 2014 NFL Draft, and both have performed admirably. Accordingly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens were keeping tabs on P.J. Williams.

Williams is a very quick, physical player. His strongest attribute is his ability to blitz as a corner. He is easily the best blitzing corner in the draft. He times the snap well and is usually too fast for most lineman to catch up to. Williams is solid in coverage but needs work on his press technique. He is very quick and recovers well, which along with his solid form tackling aids him when blitzing. I think Williams would best be used as a nickel corner who can fire in and blitz when called upon.