Vernon Hargreaves to visit Baltimore Ravens

Feb 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves goes through a workout drill during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves goes through a workout drill during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves has eight visits lined up with NFL teams, including the Baltimore Ravens.

The Baltimore Ravens will host one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft when Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves comes in for a visit.

Rand Getlin of is reporting that eight teams have visits scheduled with Hargreaves. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also interested, in addition to the Ravens.

It comes as no surprise that Baltimore is hosting Hargreaves as they are in need of help in the secondary. While the Ravens pass defense played better in the second half of the season, Jimmy Smith is the only sure thing at cornerback on the roster.

They did re-sign Shareece Wright and got Kyle Arrington to restructure his contract to stay with the team. However, with Lardarius Webb‘s shift to safety and the stunning loss of Tray Walker, the Ravens are lacking the numbers at cornerback.

Jalen Ramsey of Florida State is drawing a lot of the hype as the top defensive back, deservedly so. He is a rare talent that we have not seen at the safety position since the late Sean Taylor. A more recent player comparison is Eric Berry, who is arguably the best safety in the NFL right now. 

More from The Baltimore Wire

Baltimore would love to get their hands on Ramsey, but it’s looking unlikely that he will be there when the Ravens select at No. 6. Taking Hargreaves with the sixth pick would not be a stretch at all.

Drafting Hargreaves is something that was written in our three bold predictions for the offseason. So far, I got one of those predictions right with the signing of Eric Weddle. And while I said the Ravens would trade back to land Hargreaves, staying put and taking him is an option also.

The Ravens could still opt to trade back, and that could be their best move. Several quarterback needy teams could ask the Ravens for the No. 6 pick and leave the Ravens still in a position to get Hargreaves. That would give Baltimore the man they want and more picks.

The San Francisco 49ers have the selection after the Ravens and could be in the market for a quarterback if they do part ways with Colin Kaepernick. That would put the Ravens in position to field offers from teams hoping to get ahead of the 49ers. The Niners themselves might be forced to move up one spot to make sure they get their man.

There are few players that have the résumé that Hargreaves has to offer. He was the Most Valuable Player of the Under Armour All-American game. He earned first-team All-SEC honors in all three of his seasons in Gainesville, and All-American honors in 2014 and 2015. He draws a lot of comparisons to Joe Haden, the last Gator to be a unanimous All-American selection. 

More from Baltimore Ravens

Hargreaves has Pro Bowl level talent. He is freakishly athletic and played in all three phases of the game for the Gators. He has a great change-of-direction and is smooth in his breaks on the outside. Despite his smaller frame, he is a physical corner and has no problem getting into the chest of receivers. The only mild concern is that he is more quick than fast and is susceptible to the double move.

Bringing in Hargreaves would be a bold move that would have a ripple effect in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted dynamic receivers in recent years and Hargreaves would be the Ravens’ counter. A.J. Green has been a menace against the Ravens. The Browns might be the laughingstock of the NFL, but Josh McCown torch Baltimore for a career-high in passing yards last season.

The NFL is becoming a league that needs more athleticism in the secondary. The Ravens are trying to redo their back end of the defense by moving Webb to safety and adding Weddle. If the Ravens draft Hargreaves and he becomes an elite corner, Baltimore has a secondary that could be one of the best in the league.

Next: What's Next in Free Agency for Ravens?

The Ravens are not bringing in Hargreaves as a smoke screen. There is genuine interest, and it would be no surprise to any of us if they use the sixth pick on the former Florida star.