The Ravens would like to boost their cornerback and safety depth, so why not do it with one player?
Virginia Tech's Antone Exum was projected to be one of the top cornerbacks in college football coming into the 2013 season, but he tore his ACL in the offseason while playing in a pickup basketball game.
Exum missed the first seven games of 2013 while returning from ACL surgery and then missed the last three with an ankle injury. Though his final year of college was marred with injuries, Exum is a quality player capable of making an impact at the NFL level.
Exum has nice size (6'0", 213 lbs) and versatility after playing both safety and corner for the Hokies, but injuries are the main concern NFL teams have with him. Mike Huguenin of NFL.com writes:
Exum's draft stock has taken a big hit because of the injuries. At one time, he was seen as a potential first-round pick; now he looks more like a mid-round pick. Still, when healthy in 2012, he was one of the most physical corners in the nation.
Exum doesn't have elite speed, but he is fast enough to be effective in press coverage. At times, he was too aggressive in 2012; the flipside is that his aggressiveness was one reason he was so effective.
If Exum is back to his old self, he could be a great value pick in the middle rounds.
Exum is a physical corner who can handle bigger NFL receivers, but his lack of speed and quickness have teams worried he'll get burned too often if he can't jam his man at the line of scrimmage.
That's why some, including Ian Wharton of B/R, believe he could play safety at the NFL level. The Ravens need help at both of those positions, which is why Exum should be someone they could consider late in the draft.