Ravens' Malik Cunningham 'Natural' At WR

Baltimore Ravens receiver Malik Cunningham has taken well to his new position.
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16) runs the ball as Houston Texans linebacker Jake Hansen (35) closes in  during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16) runs the ball as Houston Texans linebacker Jake Hansen (35) closes in during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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Malik Cunningham has been playing quarterback for over a decade between high school, college and the NFL, but the Baltimore Ravens had another idea in mind for him.

After signing Cunningham off the New England Patriots' practice squad late last season, the Ravens decided to move him over to receiver earlier this offseason. Cunningham had faced questions about his viability as an NFL quarterback, and the Ravens ultimately decided he would be better off at another position.

Despite just recently moving to receiver Cunningham is quickly learning the ropes of the position and has even caught the eyes of his coaches.

"Malik has looked good at wide receiver. He's shown a lot of speed, a lot of quickness. [He's] kind of a natural at the position, and I've seen that he understands the game from the perspective of the quarterback, so [his] routes and coverage and timing and things like that have been excellent," head coach John Harbaugh told reporters Thursday.

At a base level, Cunningham has several desireable traits for a receiver. He's very fast (4.53-second 40-yard dash), but also not lacking in size at 6-1 and 198 pounds. Additionally, he is very capable in open space as he ran for 3,182 yards in his five seasons at Louisville.

In a lot of ways, Cunningham is very similar to Ravens superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson in that both are a dual-threat quarterbacks from Louisville who faced questions about their potential in the NFL. While Jackson wound up becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league, Cunningham will play elsewhere throughout his NFL career, and that's just fine.

It remains to be seen if Cunningham will make the Ravens' 53-man roster, but it seems like he's off to a good start in his quest to do so.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO