The Ravens drafted Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly in the fifth round, a four-year starter in college with NFL bloodlines. Kelly’s father, Brian, played in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kelly, the No. 157 overall selection, was a two-time second-team All-Pac 12 Conference performer.
2022 stats: 35 tackles, six passes defended, no interceptions
Measurables: 6-0, 191 pounds, 4.52-second 40-yard dash
NFL.com profile: “Defender with good size, length and NFL bloodlines, but a concerning lack of recovery speed and coverage stickiness against quality route runners. When in position, Kelly possesses the ball skills and competitiveness to contest catches. He’s patient and efficient from press, but he could struggle to stay in phase with vertical route threats in man-to-man coverage. Kelly might be best suited for a backup role in a zone scheme, but the aggression will need to be cranked up in run support.”
Team need: The Ravens need cornerback help. According to Sports Info Solutions, Marlon Humphrey was the only rotational cornerback who produced negative expected points added when targeted in coverage last year, indicating a positive contribution to the team’s pass defense. Marcus Peters, still unsigned in free agency, allowed a career-worst 114.3 passer rating in coverage, according to Pro Football Reference.
Blu Kelly will join a Ravens secondary featuring Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, one of the NFL’s best safety duos. Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion “Pepe” Williams and Daryl Worley, all of whom played significant snaps last year, along with Trayvon Mullen, round out the team’s depth chart.
Quotable: “This is something I used to always think about, playing against guys like ‘OBJ’ [Odell Beckham Jr.]. I’ve seen Zay Flowers in this process. Those are the guys I want to line up against. I want to see what they’ve got in their game, and they can just make me better. Guys like that who are pros, and Zay Flowers, who is going to be a great rookie for our team, I feel like that’s just going to make me better; it’s just an iron-sharpens-iron thing. And a competitive guy like me, I want my first shot at bat at them when I can to just jump out there and make sure I’m doing better [and] getting better.”