Ravens select Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins in the first round of NFL Draft 

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By Cordell Woodland, Special to the AFRO

The NFL Draft is the highlight of the NFL offseason and for the Baltimore Ravens, it’s their main avenue for team building. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has repeatedly talked about the importance of the draft to the Ravens and their roster. 

The Ravens held the 30th pick in the first round of the 2024 draft and didn’t waste time submitting their choice when their turn came on April 25, selecting cornerback Nate Wiggins from Clemson University. 

Wiggins, at 6-foot-1 and 173 pounds, is a certified speedster at the cornerback position – proven with his 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash. That combined with his ability to make game-changing plays was something the Ravens couldn’t pass on. 

“We’re very excited to draft Nate Wiggins,” DeCosta said. “In my opinion, he’s the best cover corner in the draft.”

Wiggins was First-team All-ACC in 2022 and 2023. He finished 2023 with 25 tackles (one for loss), a team-high nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one sack and two interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown as well. 

The Ravens love positional versatility and Wiggins may add to that. Head coach John Harbaugh said they envision him as more of an outside guy but he can play inside as well. This pick will allow the Ravens to use veteran cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the nickel spot more often. 

“I couldn’t be happier to be in Baltimore,” Wiggins said. 

He said he wasn’t surprised to be drafted by the Ravens because they told him if he was available at pick 30, they would take him. 

“I feel like my competitiveness will allow me to fit in well with that defense,” he said. “They love turnovers and I love forcing them.”

Wiggins now joins former Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson as two of the younger guys on the Ravens’ defense. Both players have incredible speed and will help the Ravens keep up with some of the faster teams in the conference. 

There was speculation that the Ravens could trade out of the first round with the hope of acquiring more day two picks. DeCosta acknowledged that the phone was ringing and they had as many as eight offers to trade back. But, he said, once they saw Wiggins was available, they wanted to pick him up. 

The Ravens will enter day two with the offensive line still their biggest need, but DeCosta believes there will be plug-and-play linemen available for them. The possibility of the Ravens making a trade at some point this weekend is very much alive as well. 

As of now, the Ravens have picks 62 and 93 on day two of the draft. We could still see them take a wide receiver, running back, edge rusher, linebacker, and despite taking Wiggins, they could go corner again at some point. 

One long night down. Two more to go…

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