Ravens rookie cornerback Nate Wiggins brings speed, skill and self-assuredness

OWINGS MILLS — A number of pundits think that Ravens rookie cornerback Nate Wiggins will need to add weight and muscle to be fully effective in the NFL.

At the time of this year’s draft, Wiggins was 6 feet 1, 182 pounds, so the goal could be to add to 10 to 15 pounds because of the physicality of the NFL.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh is not overly concerned about Wiggins’ size because of his speed and technical ability.

“When you watch the tape; he comes up and smacks people,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what he does. He’s not afraid of the physical part of it at all. He’s a complete corner. First of all, he’s rangy, and he can run. He’s got very good feet, he changes direction, he puts his hands on people in press, and he runs up and tackles people with some physicality.

“The weight doesn’t impede him at all, and he’s going to put on weight; he’s over 180 [pounds] now. He’s a young guy.”

The Ravens selected Wiggins with the 30th pick in the 2024 NFL draft. It was the first cornerback the team selected in the first round since Marlon Humphrey with the 16th pick in 2017.

Wiggins is a lockdown defensive back who allowed just one completion of 20-plus yards last season. He ran a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Last season, the Ravens ranked second in the NFL with 18 interceptions and Wiggins could be a boost for turnovers this season. Wiggins is confident he is a perfect fit for the Ravens’ defense.

“I just know they are ballhawks and they get a lot of turnovers,” Wiggins said. “I know this past season, they were the top defense, so I know my place [and] my competitiveness will fit [in] right along with the great defense.” 

Wiggins has an opportunity to crack the starting lineup as an outside cornerback, especially if the Ravens decide to move Marlon Humphrey to the slot. Wiggins is confident he can make an impact in his first year in the league.

“[It’s] just my speed and my instincts and my physicality,” Wiggins said. “Just being on that island … It’s man-to-man. I feel like I’m the best man-to-man corner. I’m the best corner in the draft, so yes. The tape speaks for itself.”

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