The Baltimore Ravens had the clock ticking on a key decision, and they finally revealed what they were going to do with cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
It was revealed that the team would be picking up the 5th year option on Humphrey, the cornerback out of Alabama. Humphrey was a 1st round pick in 2017 and has played well since being selected by the team and coming into the mix.
The decision on Humphrey in the end was likely pretty easy. The cornerback has been one of the more productive players in his class and put up 136 tackles and 7 interceptions. He’s fit in seamlessly during his time with the Ravens thus far, so it’s no shock to see him coming back.
Ravens 2020 NFL Draft Class
From start to finish, the Ravens did a great job to check off all their needs, which spanned from getting some help on defense to some more weapons for Lamar Jackson and the team’s offense. The class is very loaded from top to bottom with linebacker Patrick Queen, running back J.K. Dobbins, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, wideout Devin Duvernay, linebacker Malik Harrison, offensive tackle Tyre Phillips, guard Ben Bredeson, defensive tackle Broderick Washington, wideout James Proche and safety Geno Stone comprising the class for the Ravens.
This class has garnered high grades from many including Mel Kiper and high praise for most considering the players the Ravens landed and where they landed them. Fit is huge, and it’s obvious the team feels very good about where things are trending with their newest class of players for 2020.
Perhaps surprisingly, there was no defensive back selected until Stone, a safety in round 7. That only points to the relative strength of the position.
Pro Football Focus contributor Gordon McGuinness recently tweeted about the approach the Ravens have with Eric DeCosta building his team, and lauded the fact that Baltimore seems to be building around players who are solid and stout on the back end and know the team’s scheme incredibly well. As he says, that’s how a defense should be constructed.
The Ravens recently re-signed Jimmy Smith, which was a huge move in order to keep a group together which has been very solid. That’s in addition to what they already have on the roster and what they will get back in 2020.
Ravens 2019 Defensive Statistics
Baltimore’s defense was a top group in the league this season. They were rated the No. 3 defense in terms of total yards allowed (300.6), the No. 6 defense in terms of passing yards per-game (207.2), and the 5th ranked rush defense in the league with 93.4 yards per-game.
A key point? Baltimore also piled up 37 sacks on the season, with Matt Judon accounting for 9.5 in 2019. Obviously, the defense is solid as a whole and has plenty to like moving forward, but the team would have to find a suitable replacement for Judon somewhere considering his overall talent if he were to leave. That’s been rumored so far this offseason. In terms of the defensive backfield, the Ravens collected 13 total picks last season which was a solid number.
It’s nice to see the team building around some solid defensive backs. No matter what happens up front with new additions like Michael Brockers and Calais Campbell, the Ravens continue to remain committed to having one of the best secondaries in football.
Building things from the back end out continues to benefit the team and is a great plan moving forward. That’s what makes it easy to keep a guy like Humphrey around.