Ravens Take Alabama Cornerback Marlon Humphrey with Pick 16 in the 2017 NFL Draft

The Ravens had plenty of choices of what to do with the 16th overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, but instead of going in a different direction or trading the pick, the team decided to go with defense, taking Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

After all, it was defense that led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win in 2001, and hopefully with Humphrey as a standout player on defense they can start to build that type of defense again.

It seemed to be falling perfectly for the Ravens. A draft expected to be dominated by defense featured an early run on offensive players. The three top receivers went off the board in the top 10 picks, taking away that option for the Ravens.

However, everything else was in play. Two Alabama defensive standouts, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and inside linebacker Reuben Foster, were still available despite both being projected to go within the first dozen picks. Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, seen as a virtual lock for the top 10, also was sitting there.

But after listening to trade offers, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome decided to stand pat and pulled off a significant draft surprise, taking Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the 16th overall pick. Humphrey was considered the second or third best cornerback in the draft, but even he acknowledged that he was surprised to be selected by the Ravens because he hadn’t visited Baltimore in the predraft process.

“To be honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to what was on the screen really,” said Humphrey, who watched the draft with family and friends in Birmingham, Ala. “That’s how surprised I was because my name got called.”

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