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When the Ravens opted to not draft a cornerback with a third-day pick, many were left scratching their heads.
But, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. understands why Baltimore refrained from addressing an area of need in the latter rounds. A lack of consensus on the later cornerbacks allowed the Ravens to select the best player available.
“There were a lot of mixed opinions with the corners,” Kiper said Tuesday during a conference call with national media. “There was mixed opinion even on Joe Haden, who went seventh-overall to Cleveland. Javier Arenas, I liked him, but I thought the second round was a little high. I wasn’t big on Chris Cook, who went to Minnesota, but [ESPN draftnik] Todd McShay was high on Cook. Some thought Perrish Cox from Oklahoma State was a late-rounder at best.”
Kiper went on to describe multiple other cornerbacks that had wildly skewed evaluations, depending on which draft analyst is speaking.
The Ravens were looking at corners in the fourth round, where Alterraun Verner (Titans), Trevard Lindley (Eagles), Walter Thurmond (Seahawks) and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (Cowboys) were taken.
Instead, Baltimore opted to pick tight end Dennis Pitta in that round, 114th overall, while declining to revisit the position later. Receiver David Reed, defensive lineman Art Jones and tackle Ramon Harewood were the Ravens’ final three selections.
“All those [cornerbacks] had tremendous mixed opinion, where some liked them, and some thought they were late-rounders at best,” Kiper continued. “I concur with [the Ravens]. That’s the way it was at corner, and you can’t force it because of need. You can’t just take a player you don’t have strong convictions about.”
The Ravens are expected to add a veteran cornerback via free agency at some point this offseason.