OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens shifted positions for a couple of young players as the team looks to strengthen its depth in the secondary.
Baltimore drafted Brandon Stephens in the third round of this year's draft as a cornerback. However, Stephens has taken reps at safety over the early days of training camp.
Stephens is used to changing positions.
He began his collegiate career as a running back at UCLA. Stephens transferred to SMU and transitioned into being a lockdown cornerback.
"He’s a smart kid, and I really, really like him. I think he’s going to be a great football player for us," Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. “As all the rookies are, they’re a little quiet right now, because in essence, when you’re a rookie football player – if you want to think back to high school or college, some of you– it’s like the freshman going into the senior’s class.
"So, they’re listening and learning, and then eventually, they start getting confident with what their responsibilities are and what others are, and you just see them start to grow. He’s already doing that.”
Nigel Warrior, an undrafted player from Tennessee in his second year, has a nose for the ball and is gaining the confidence of coaches. Warrior is taking reps at cornerback after playing safety most of his career.
Warrior played in 49 games, including 38 starts, at safety for the Volunteers. He finished his collegiate career with 239 tackles (144 solo), 7.5 tackles for a loss, 18 passes defended, five interceptions, one sack, and three forced fumbles.
"Well, that’s his strength – he has position flexibility," Martindale said. "We know he can play safety; now we’re going to see where he’s at corner-wise, and he’s done a nice job. He’s done a nice job, and he’s had some good battles with some good receivers. So, it’s going to be fun to watch.
"That’s the other great thing for all of us, for us here, standing here – is we get some preseason games, too. For me, that’s the pure enjoyment of coaching – to see where these young guys are actually at, live, tackling, playing football.”