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Ravens Insider: Ravens select Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins with 30th overall pick in 2024 NFL draft


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Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is fond of saying Baltimore can never have too many cornerbacks, and two weeks ago he conveyed as much by adding that he would love to pick one at some point in this year’s NFL draft.

That point came in the opening round Thursday night when the Ravens selected Nate Wiggins from Clemson with the 30th overall pick. It marks the first time they have taken a cornerback in the first round since 2017 when they drafted Marlon Humphrey 16th overall.

In drafting Wiggins, they also might have found their eventual replacement for Humphrey, or at least someone who could contribute immediately.

While the Ravens have a solid duo on the outside with Humphrey and Brandon Stephens, along with Arthur Maulet returning for another season in the slot, Humphrey is coming off an injury-hampered season in which he played 10 games and the fewest defensive snaps (541) of his career after undergoing foot surgery last summer. Stephens performed well last season, but he was initially tabbed for safety before being pressed into cornerback duty and is due to become a free agent after the 2024 season.

“That’s a position that typically you never have enough due to injuries and different things — guys will break down through the course of the season,” DeCosta said during the Ravens’ predraft news conference earlier this month. “Our depth has always been tested in the secondary.”

In taking Wiggins, a 6-foot-1, 173-pound long and athletic corner with elite speed, the Ravens get a player who had 24 pass breakups, three interceptions (including two returned for touchdowns), two forced fumbles, a sack and a blocked field goal in 1,377 career snaps over 34 games, including 18 starts. He also ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash (4.28 seconds) at the 2024 NFL scouting combine and his wingspan allows him to match up with bigger receivers.

Though Wiggins had only three interceptions in his career at Clemson, he had 21 pass breakups the past two seasons, including nine last year.

If there is a concern about Wiggins’ ability at the next level, it would be run defense. He is not the prototypical physical cornerback the Ravens covet, though he has added about 10 pounds since the scouting combine and performed well in both man and zone coverage for the Tigers.

“The Ravens always value players who can rush the quarterback and guys who can cover pass catchers,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote. “Wiggins has outstanding cover ability, but Baltimore will need to help him be a little more of an urgent defender against the run.”

This story will be updated.

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