Kyle Arrington to the Ravens: What it means
Kyle Arrington burst onto the national scene when he led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2011. Some used that number as evidence that Arrington was an ascending corner, while others used it as evidence that interceptions are an overrated stat.
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Since then, Arrington has quietly improved to be a very solid slot cornerback, despite not recording nearly as many interceptions since. So when the Patriots released Arrington May 11, the rumor mill started churning, linking the Ravens to the talented 28-year old. Those rumors have been proven true: Arrington is a Raven as of May 13.
After looking at his film, a few traits stick out in Arrington. He’s quick, active, and surprisingly, physical. Despite standing just 5’10”, Arrington has no issue jamming opposing receivers.
On this particular play, Arrington jammed the opposing receiver, maintaining solid yet legal contact for a couple of yards before letting go. The route altered, Arrington was able to stay in the receiver’s hip pocket.
Arrington also looks good in zone, quickly diagnosing what opposing receivers are doing and maintaining good positioning.
Another plus, Arrington can play anywhere on the defense. In the AFC Championship Game, Arrington played in the slot, on the outside, on the right and on the left. That kind of flexibility is very useful, especially for the Ravens, who use a variety of different looks.
There are some downsides to Arrington’s game. The most noticeable is his penchant for being too physical. He was flagged for defensive pass interference on this mugging of T.Y. Hilton.
The other major drawback is Arrington’s size. He’s just 5’10”, and with the ball in the air, it shows. Even when he maintains good coverage, Arrington sometimes gives up catches just because the opposing receiver is able to catch the ball over him.
After some review, Arrington is a huge upgrade to the Ravens’ depth. Arrington should neatly fit in as the nickel corner in Baltimore, allowing the Ravens to bring along youngsters Tray Walker and Rashaan Melvin more slowly.
Whether Arrington or Webb will actually play the slot remains to be seen, though it hardly matters, as both are solid inside and out. Considering Webb’s lack of athleticism last year, he might be better served staying on the outside while Arrington covers quick slot receivers like Julian Edelman.
Now that Ozzie Newsome has filled the void in the Ravens’ secondary, and on the cheap to boot, fans have very little to complain about. Well done, Mr. Newsome.
Shawn began his writing career with Bleacher Report as a Ravens featured columnist and Breaking News Team writer. He moved on to write for Yahoo! and work on the Ravens Central Radio podcast. Most recently, he was an Editor at the Baltimore Wire. Shawn is a 2013 graduate of the Catholic University of America.