PHILADELPHIA, PA — With the 16th overall pick, the Ravens have drafted Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Humphrey played two seasons at Alabama after redshirting his freshman year. In 31 games, Humphrey recorded 81 tackles, five interceptions, and forced three fumbles. Last season, he made an 18-yard pick-6 in Alabama’s Sept. 3 opening game against USC, a 52-6 win for the Crimson Tide.
The addition of Humphrey is the latest move Newsome has made to improve Baltimore’s secondary. Earlier this offseason, the Ravens signed two big free agents –safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Brandon Carr. Baltimore released longtime Raven Lardarius Webb, but later resigned him on a new contract.
The Ravens are not messing around with the secondary after the unit has struggled with depth and injuries in recent seasons. Jimmy Smith has been particularly susceptible to the injury bug, and the addition of Humphrey will give the Ravens some leverage if Smith goes down again in the future.
Cornerback was a key need for the Ravens entering the draft, but there were better players on the board that the Ravens passed on at the time of this pick. In the future rounds, the Ravens still need to address wide receiver, offensive line, pass rusher, and inside linebacker.
For the first time in three years, the Ravens drafted a defensive player in the first round. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who played at Alabama, loves his Crimson Tide. In the 2014 draft, Newsome drafted linebacker C.J. Mosley at #17 overall. Newsome also drafted former Alabama stars Terrance Cody and Courtney Upshaw in the second round of the 2010 and 2012 drafts, respectively.
Marlon is the son of running back Bobby Humphrey, who also played at Alabama. Bobby played five seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. He made the Pro Bowl in 1990.
For this pick, the Ravens partnered with the Make A Wish Foundation, as 14-year-old cancer survivor T.J. Onwuanibe came up with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to announce Baltimore’s pick. The announcement of T.J’s wish was made a few days ago, and T.J. delivered, pumping his fist as he announced the selection.