Will Ravens throw curveball and draft CB at No.17?

Will Ravens throw curveball and draft CB at No.17?
May 7, 2014, 1:15 pm
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(Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports)

Could the Ravens throw a first-round curveball and select a cornerback at No. 17? You can’t rule that out. Especially if tight end Eric Ebron, safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, and offensive tackles Taylor Lewan and a Zack Martin are all off the board.

Listen to what Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said about cornerbacks at the team’s pre-draft press conference. While the Ravens have two solid corners in Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb, they lost nickel corner Corey Graham to the Bills during free agency. Yes, the Ravens need a right tackle and a safety. But they could also use another quality corner.

“You can’t have enough corners, especially when you’re in a league now where it’s a passing league with people putting three or four receivers in the games,” Newsome said. “You don’t have too many corners.”

This draft is deep at cornerback, and those that could be available at No. 17 include Baltimore native Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech, Jason Verrett of TCU, and Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma St.

“I would say corner position-wise, it’s pretty solid,” said Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz. “They go off the board fast every year. We’ll see about 12 that go in the first three rounds.

“The question will be whether they are going to be the highest-rated guy when we’re up. Obviously, we like corners and we’re not afraid to take them. If there is one sitting there and we’ve got him ranked high, we’ll take him.”