Marlon Humphrey

Ravens Notes: Smith, Wideouts, Draft, Humphrey

The Ravens “continue to get positive reports” on cornerback Jimmy Smith‘s recovery from a torn left Achilles tendon. The veteran suffered the injury in a December win over the Lions. While there’s uncertainty if Smith will be ready in time for the start of the regular season, the defensive back has still been rehabbing the injury at the team facility “on a regular basis.”

“I see Jimmy. He’s there because he’s rehabbing. I see him in the building. He’s telling me he’s doing very well,” said general manager Ozzie Newsome (via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun). “I spoke with Drew [Rosenhaus] earlier in the week and Drew indicated that he just spent some time with Jimmy and Jimmy was doing well.”

Before his injury, Smith had compiled 28 tackles, nine passes defended, and three interceptions. The 2011 first-round pick has spent his entire seven-year career with the Ravens.

Let’s check out some more notes out of Baltimore…

  • Newsome previously said that the team is expected to reset the wide receiver position this offseason, and Zrebiec tweets that the sentiment “doesn’t bode well” for the returns of wideouts Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. The duo combined for only 92 receptions, 1,188 yards, and seven touchdowns last season. Maclin has one year remaining on his contract (along with a $7.5MM cap hit), while Wallace is an unrestricted free agent.
  • With the Ravens apparently seeking reinforcement at wide receiver, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets that a reunion with Torrey Smith is a “very real possibility.” The Eagles are expected to decline the 29-year-old’s 2018 option. Smith started 14 games during his only season in Philly, hauling in 36 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns. The 2011 second-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career in Baltimore.
  • Despite Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti‘s assertion that his team wouldn’t select a successor to Joe Flacco, La Canfora believes the team could still “invest a high pick” on a quarterback in this year’s draft. The Ravens haven’t been in the market for backup quarterbacks, and the team is “most likely” to select a wideout with their first-round pick. However, the reporter notes that the team is doing “considerable work” on the rookie passers, and they “very well could use a top pick on a quarterback if the right guy is there.”
  • The felony robbery charge against cornerback Marlon Humphrey has been dismissed, reports ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley. The 2017 first-rounder was accused of stealing a phone charger from an Uber, but Judge Joanne Jannik ruled that there was no probable cause to prosecute. After being selected 16th-overall in last year’s draft, Humphrey filled in admirably for Jimmy Smith, compiling 34 tackles and two interceptions.

North Notes: Vikings, Patricia, Humphrey

New Vikings OC John DeFilippo is viewed as a rising star in the coaching world, and Minnesota is obviously high on the former Eagles quarterbacks coach, as it targeted DeFilippo as soon as former OC Pat Shurmur left for the Giants’ head coaching job. The Vikings were also willing to wait for Philadelphia’s season to be over before naming Shurmur’s replacement, which shows just how much they liked DeFilippo. Despite the hire, though, the Vikings denied the Giants’ request to interview Minnesota quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski for the New York OC gig, and Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio suggests that there are two reasons for that (Twitter link). Obviously, the Vikings value Stefanski and want him around in 2018, but the team also thinks there is a good chance DeFilippo could get his own head coaching opportunity in 2019, so Minnesota views Stefanski as a potential replacement (after all, the Vikes did interview Stefanski for the OC position this year before hiring DeFilippo). However, Marvez reports that Stefanski only has one year left on his current contract, so he could become a coaching free agent in 2019.

Now for more from the league’s North divisions:

  • The Bears‘ offensive line will be one of their biggest priorities this offseason, and Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune says the team could use one of its top two picks in this year’s draft on an O-lineman. Of course, Chicago will also have to decide what it wants to do with guard Josh Sitton, who has a club option worth $8MM for 2018 (the Bears have until March 9 to exercise that option, and if they do not, Sitton will become a UFA). It is a tough call; on the one hand, Sitton is an accomplished player whose departure will make the team’s O-line situation even more dire, but on the other hand, he is an aging veteran and, if the Bears decline the option, Sitton will count only $666K against the cap in 2018. Biggs does not give an indication as to which way Chicago is leaning at this point.
  • In a piece that is well worth a read, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press chronicles Matt Patricia‘s rise from a low-level assistant in New England to Lions head coach, a rise that was accelerated in 2012 when Detroit GM Bob Quinn — then the director of pro scouting with the Patriots — heard Patricia deliver a poignant speech to New England coaches and players about the recently-deceased Junior Seau.
  • Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, whom the team selected in the first round of last year’s draft, was recently arrested for stealing a $15 phone charger, as Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com writes. Humphrey has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 1 in Tuscaloosa County District Court, at which time a judge will determine whether to dismiss the case or to proceed. Humphrey turned in a strong rookie campaign, and Baltimore will rely on him heavily in 2018.

Extra Points: Gordon, Cowboys, Ansah

Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is currently without an agent, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Joby Branion terminated their relationship “a couple weeks ago,” a source told Florio. Branion succeeded Drew Rosenhaus, who parted ways with Gordon several months back, as Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes (on Twitter). Branion had been working to help get Gordon reinstated, a bid the NFL denied Thursday. The league’s decision came on the heels of a recent conversation between Gordon and commissioner Roger Goodell, per Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, who adds that Gordon is working out in Gainesville, Fla., and seems to be in good shape physically (Twitter links).

More from around the league:

  • Before the Cowboys chose Michigan defensive Taco Charlton with the 28th pick in the draft, they spoke with the Ravens about trading up to No. 16 for Missouri DE Charles Harris, reports Charean Williams of the Star Telegram. However, the teams’ discussions died when the Ravens’ target, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, was still on the board for their pick. Harris ended up going 22nd overall to the Dolphins.
  • The Cardinals released Daryl Washington on Thursday, but the linebacker told Mike Jurecki he’d have wanted to stay with the team had it been willing to pay him a salary higher than the league minimum (Twitter link). Understandably, Arizona wasn’t interested in making any kind of a real investment in Washington, who hasn’t played a down since 2013 because of repeated violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The league reinstated Washington last month.
  • Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah says that he will ask Ndamukong Suh for advice on contract talks, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. “I haven’t talked to him about it yet, but I will,” Ansah said. The Lions are hoping to lock Ansah down with a contract extension, despite a down year in 2016.
  • Wide receiver Eddie Royal, whom the Bears released Thursday, is still recovering from the turf toe that ended his 2016 campaign early, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While Royal is making progress from December surgery, he’s not ready to return to the field, per Rapoport.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Ravens Sign Rookie CB Marlon Humphrey

The Ravens announced that they have signed first-round cornerback Marlon Humphrey. In addition to the Alabama product, linebacker Tyus Bowser (second round), guard Nico Siragusa (fourth round), offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (fifth round), and safety Chuck Carr (sixth round) have also inked their deals. Marlon Humphrey (vertical)

Humphrey was widely ranked as one of the top three cornerbacks available in what was a very deep class for the position. Depending on who you asked, some talent evaluators had him as the second-best corner on the board, behind Marshon Lattimore but ahead of Gareon Conley and Adoree’ Jackson. Humphrey wound up becoming the second cornerback drafted when the Ravens selected him at No. 16, though Conley’s draft week incident might have had something to do with that.

Humphrey, a 6’1″, 196-pound athlete, had 36 total tackles, two interceptions, and five passes defensed in his final year at Alabama. One of those interceptions was a pick six in the season opener against USC.

With those five under contract, only two Ravens draft picks remain unsigned. Baltimore will look to finalize things with third-round defensive end Chris Wormley and third-round linebacker Tim Williams in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pauline’s Latest: McCaffrey, Harris, Barnett

With the draft roughly four hours away, let’s take a look at the latest from Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com:

  • The Eagles are reportedly “infatuated” with Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, per Pauline. Philadelphia might have trouble selecting McCaffrey with the 14th overall pick, however, as the Panthers also are interested in the dynamic athlete at No. 8. As such, the Eagles may have to trade up if they want to land McCaffrey. Potentially, the Eagles could make a deal with the Jets, but Pauline wonders if Philadelphia has enough draft capital to make a move up given that they sacrificed a haul of picks in 2016.
  • Pass rushers Charles Harris (Missouri) and Derek Barnett (Tennessee) are both shooting up draft boards and could potentially be selected earlier than most observers currently believe, according to Pauline. The Dolphins, for one, are known to have interest in both players, but if Pauline’s report is correct, both might be gone by the time Miami picks at No. 22.
  • The most undervalued player in the draft may be Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie, says Pauline. Awuzie has been linked to a number of teams during the predraft process, including the Titans, Buccaneers, and Cowboys, whiles scouts like his size and level of experience.
  • While Awuzie may be underrated, fellow cornerback Marlon Humphrey is being overvalued, reports Pauline, who adds the Alabama alum could even potentially fall out of the first round. Most mock drafts have placed Humphrey in Day 1, but the plethora of defensive back options in this year’s class could conceivably push him down.

Albert Breer On Foster, Trubisky, Watson

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz from Albert Breer of The MMQB. All links go to Twitter:

  • Teams were aware of some drug history for linebacker Reuben Foster at Alabama and that wasn’t considered a big deal until his watered down combine test (link). Now, however, that history has taken on a different context. Depending on who you ask, Foster could be in for a draft day slide similar to Myles Jack in 2016.
  • Breer envisions a run on offensive linemen Ryan Ramczyk, Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp, and Garett Bolles, and that may trigger some teams to trade up into the late teens (link). This year’s draft is thin on OL help and those four players are considered to be the best available.
  • Though it’s not a likelihood, there’s a chance that quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes go in the Top 15 (link).
  • The NFL at large likes Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey and USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson more than the public realizes (link). To date, most prognostications have them going late in the first round or early in the second. In yesterday’s dueling mock draft, I took Humphrey at No. 13 overall on behalf of the Cardinals.

PFR’s 2017 Live NFL Mock Draft

The 2017 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night, and Pro Football Rumors is back with its second mock draft of the year. While our initial mock attempted to project what will happen in Round 1, we’ve taken a different approach for mock draft 2.0.

PFR editor Zach Links and I conducted this live mock draft on Tuesday morning, rotating picks and breaking down what we would do were we in charge of these selections. We posted each pick on Twitter, followed by a short explanation of our thought process on this page.

Here’s the complete mock:

1. Cleveland Browns (Zach) – Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M

I suspect this is the easiest pick either one of us will make all day. Garrett is the best pure talent in this year’s draft and the Browns would be foolish to go in any other direction at the top of the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Dallas) – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Reports that the 49ers are considering a quarterback with the second overall selection stand out as a potential smokescreen, and instead San Francisco uses the No. 2 pick to bolster its defense. Hooker, who recently earned a full medical clearance following combine rechecks, has been commonly linked to the Chargers as a perfect fit for Los Angeles defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme. But the 49ers are running the same defensive look as the Chargers under new DC Robert Saleh, and Hooker would give the team a centerfielder with the upside of an Earl Thomas. San Francisco’s plan to convert nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward to safety won’t stop it from adding Hooker, who is possibly the draft’s No. 2 overall prospect.

3. Chicago Bears (Zach) – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford 

Dallas’ bold pick left my Bears with a golden opportunity. The Bears could go safety or cornerback in this scenario, but the talent of Thomas is too good to pass up. Thomas can be used on both the inside and outside of the Bears’ defensive line and I see him as one of the safest talents on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Dallas) – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

No, we didn’t forget the Jaguars used a top-five pick on Jalen Ramsey in 2016 and then handed a $67.5MM contract to A.J. Bouye in free agency last month. But one of Ramsey’s key selling points last year was his versatility: while he’s a shutdown corner at his best, Ramsey can man the slot, cover tight ends, and dabble at safety. As such, adding Conley doesn’t mean Jacksonville is facing cornerback overload, especially given that NFL clubs are in the nickel more than two-thirds of the time. Conley is viewed as a safer prospect than his Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore, and he’d give the Jaguars a Broncos-like secondary.

5. Tennessee Titans (Zach) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Titans, arguably, get the best cornerback available in the draft even though they are the second team to address the position. No, we don’t have a ton of film to go on for Lattimore, but his combine numbers indicate that he could be a megastar. Few teams in the NFL would have a young cornerback duo like the Titans if they can pair Logan Ryan with Lattimore.Mitch Trubisky Instagram

6. Cleveland Browns (projected trade with Jets) (Dallas) – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

In need of a franchise quarterback, the Browns send the No. 12 and No. 52 pick to the Jets in exchange for No. 6 with the intention of drafting Trubisky. It’s a slight overpay for Cleveland (at least, based on Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, which is likely what the Browns front offices uses), but it does the deal anyway to land a long-term option under center. Given that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is reportedly pressing the club to select a quarterback early — and the fact the Cleveland may still be considering Trubisky with the first overall selection — landing the UNC signal-caller at No. 5 for the cost of a mid-second-round pick is a move the Browns can’t pass up.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Zach) – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

In this scenario, it seems like Allen’s subpar workouts have led to a bit of a drop. His size (6’3″) is a bit of a concern, but he has the ability to be an effective defensive end while spending some time on the inside as well. Allen would look great lining up on the opposite end of Joey Bosa.

8. Carolina Panthers (Dallas) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Sitting at pick No. 8, the Panthers certainly have options. General manager Dave Gettleman & Co. could go after a running back like Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey, bring in a young edge rusher to play alongside veterans like Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers, or even reach for an offensive tackle given Michael Oher‘s health questions. With Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown having defected via free agency, the Panthers need another wideout to pair with Kelvin Benjamin. Enter Davis, who topped 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Zach) – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Foster’s stock, by all accounts, is slipping after he turned in a diluted urine sample and got into an argument with a hospital worker at the combine. However, with other teams in the market for an inside linebacker (like the Jets at No. 12, for example), it would be somewhat risky to trade down into the teens and expect Foster to still be there. The Bengals have been willing to overlook character concerns in the past, so I see no reason why they can’t do the same here and land the Alabama star.

10. Buffalo Bills (Dallas) – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

While the Bills gave Jordan Poyer a four-year deal with $6MM in guarantees earlier this offseason, I’m still not convinced Buffalo views him as a definite starter. Those questions come to the forefront with Adams still on the board, and the Bills don’t hesitate to take the LSU defensive back. With ex-Packer Micah Hyde also in the fold, Buffalo can field one of the more diverse and flexible safety tandems in the league. Adams is viewed as a leader in the locker room, and has been favorably compared to former Cowboys All Pro Darren Woodson by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

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Schrager’s Latest: 49ers, Kizer, Humphrey

The 49ers‘ interest in UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been “real” during the entire predraft process, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicated this morning that San Francisco is considering drafting a signal-caller with the No. 2 overall selection. LSU safety Jamal Adams and Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are also possibilities for the Niners, per Schrager, who adds San Francisco is willing to trade down if another club is eyeing Trubisky.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft, all courtesy of Schrager:

  • Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer could have a similar draft outlook to Paxton Lynch in 2016 and Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, wherein a club with a need under center trades back into the end of the first round in order to select him, reports Schrager (Twitter link). Any team that does move into the first round for Kizer would have the added benefit of a fifth-year option, enabling them to retain Kizer for a fifth season at a cheap price.
  • One NFL general manager says he’d be “shocked” if Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey isn’t off the board by pick No. 20, tweets Schrager. Last week, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report indicated the Saints, Titans, and Ravens — all of whom pick in the top-20 — could be possible landing spots for Humphrey. Other clubs with picks early in the draft who have a need at corner include the Bills, Cardinals, Eagles, and Redskins.
  • As previous reports have indicated, the Titans are willing to trade out of the No. 5 pick, per Schrager (Twitter link). If Tennessee doesn’t trade away that selection, however, Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore will be among the players in consideration at fifth overall. Howard would give the Titans another option at tight end to pair with veteran Delanie Walker, while Lattimore would help fill out one of the league’s worse cornerback units.

NFC Draft Visits: 49ers, Panthers, Cowboys, Redskins

Some of Wednesday’s notable pre-draft visits from the NFC:

  • Florida cornerback Teez Tabor and Michigan defensive back/linebacker Jabrill Peppers were among the 49ers’ visitors, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Neither will be in play for the 49ers’ first-round pick (even if they trade down from No. 2), but could still be on the board when the club’s second-rounder comes up at No. 34.
  • Kansas State edge rusher Jordan Willis visited the Panthers, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Willis seems like a more realistic fit for the Panthers in the second round (No. 40 overall) than in the first (No. 8). Regardless, with Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson and Mario Addison each on the wrong side of 30, Carolina could use a young pass rusher like Willis, who totaled 20 sacks from 2015-16.
  • Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey met with the Cowboys, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Humphrey may well be off the board by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at No. 28, though it’s possible he’ll drop amid unwanted comparisons to another ex-Alabama corner, recent first-round bust Dee Milliner.
  • The Redskins, owners of the 17th pick, hosted Houston edge defender Tyus Bowser, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Washington amassed the ninth-most sacks in the league last year, though nine of their 38 came from outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who will serve a four-game suspension to open the season. He’s also due to hit free agency next spring. Adding another pass rusher early in the draft this year could make sense, then. Bowser racked up 22.5 sacks during his four-year college career, including a personal-best 8.5 in 2016.

Draft Rumors: Mahomes, Texans, Humphrey

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien “absolutely loves” Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, according to one report, but Houston’s interest could be a smokescreen, writes Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Pauline spoke to sources close to the organization who pointed out that the Texans are in win-now mode, meaning they’re more likely to use their first-round pick (No. 25) on a player who can make an immediate impact than select a project like Mahomes. There’s also a sense that current starting signal-caller Tom Savage‘s familiarity with O’Brien’s system will enable him to successfully transition from a backup to a No. 1. As such, there’s a stronger probability of the Texans taking an offensive tackle or a cornerback than a QB with their initial pick, per the sources.

More draft-related news and rumblings:

  • “Several” clubs have concerns regarding Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, notes Pauline. Specifically, they fear that Humphrey is too much of a straight-line defender and someone who’s only capable of playing in limited schemes. Those teams liken him to ex-Crimson Tide corner Dee Milliner, who, despite going ninth overall to the Jets in 2013, is no longer in the NFL.
  • Kansas State edge defender Jordan Willis was among the Ravens’ pre-draft visitors Tuesday, and Houston’s Tyus Bowser will meet with the team Wednesday, relays Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter links). Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com ranks Willis as the 49th-best prospect in the 2017 class – right in the vicinity of the Ravens’ second-rounder (No. 47) – and rates Bowser an even better 36th.
  • Missouri defensive end Charles Harris stock has risen so much that he could come off the board before Tennessee DE Derek Barnett, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jeremiah places Harris 21st in his rankings and Barnett 13th, and PFR’s Dallas Robinson currently has the former going 26th overall and the latter ninth. Harris recently worked out for the Falcons, as he tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
  • Indiana offensive lineman Dan Feeney could be a late first-rounder or an early second-rounder, according to Pauline, who reports he has visited the Vikings, Bears and Colts. Feeney also has meetings with the 49ers and Rams on tap. The Dolphins have also worked out Feeney, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who adds Miami has also spent “considerable time” with Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp.