To those outside the Ravens war room, the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was unfolding perfectly for a team that needed help on both sides of the ball to return to its familiar place as an annual playoff team. The Ravens wanted big and athletic targets for Joe Flacco, fortifications to their defensive front seven and some help in the secondary.

Sitting with the 16th overall pick, the Ravens had myriad options. O.J. Howard, the consensus top tight end in the draft, was surprisingly available. Two of his teammates at Alabama, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and inside linebacker Reuben Foster, were as well. Everybody knew general manager Ozzie Newsome’s fondness for Alabama players. A number of highly-rated edge rushers and defensive backs also were still on the board.

Yet, the Ravens pulled off a minor surprise, selecting Marlon Humphrey, a physical and talented prospect who nonetheless had a few perceived and concerning flaws for a cornerback. Humphrey…





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