Anthony Averett’s NFL career has resembled his time at Alabama so far. If that continues, then the cornerback is about to take off in 2021, and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale thinks Averett has the ability to do that.

“He’s one of my favorites,” Martindale said on Tuesday. “I said in front of the defense last night, to me, he’s the third-best corner we have on the team, and I think the kid has All-Pro talent. I tell him that every day, and he’s practicing that way this year. I mean, you’re really seeing everything go from the practice field to games now, and you can just see his confidence build. I tell everybody when I start talking about him, it doesn’t matter who he’s covering – to him – he just goes and covers them, and that’s what you like about your corners.”

In his first three years at Alabama, Averett played in seven games before entering the starting secondary in his junior season. He didn’t play in the Crimson Tide’s 45-40 victory over Clemson in the CFP national championship game for the 2015 season, but Averett had six tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in Alabama’s 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia in his final appearance for the Tide – the CFP national championship game for the 2017 season.

A fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Averett has played in 30 games, with seven starts, for the Ravens. His playing time has increased from 71 defensive snaps as a rookie to 220 in 2019 and 354 last season, which put him on the field for one-third of Baltimore’s defensive plays in 2020.

“Actually, I did pretty much the same thing at Alabama,” Averett said. “I sat for plenty of years, then I got my chance, got my opportunity and I never left the field after that, so that’s my mission, that’s my goal, and, you know, nothing wrong with sitting back and just actually learning, and that’s what I pretty much did and now you see the outcome.”

One of the players ahead of Averett on the depth chart during his time at Alabama was Marlon Humphrey. In Baltimore, Humphrey holds the same status.

MARLON HUMPHREY PLAYS CENTRAL ROLE IN NEW MUSIC VIDEO

While Martindale considers Averett an All-Pro talent, the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks are All-Pros. A first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Humphrey received first-team All-Pro recognition in 2019 and was a Pro Bowl pick in 2019 and 2020. A first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Marcus Peters was an All-Pro in 2016 and 2019 and a Pro Bowler in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

“Definitely I want to be out there and definitely want to play,” Averett said, “but I know the circumstances. I know this is the NFL and I can’t just select and I love to be here. I love the Ravens. We have a deep secondary. I know that. But whenever I get my chance, I just ball. I just do my best.”

Averett’s rise in playing time in 2020 included four starts. In those four games, Averett played 224 of Baltimore’s 237 defensive snaps. The Ravens won all four, giving up a total of 47 points.

“I’m definitely confident, just coming off that season last year,” Averett said. “This year, I’m balling in camp, and, I mean, it just comes with the confidence. I’ve been balling last year. I know the system – this is my fourth year I’ve been here – so I’m just comfortable. …

“This is the best I’ve felt since I’ve been here, too. I’m definitely taking care of my diet, everything that I’m doing off the field, as well. Pretty confident about this year.”

The Ravens will play the second of their three preseason games at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday, when they square off against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Baltimore defeated the New Orleans Saints 17-14 on Saturday for the Ravens’ 18th consecutive preseason victory. Averett broke up a pass and made two tackles on defense and one on special teams. He was on the field for 31 defensive snaps and seven special-teams plays.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

MORE NFL:

· After DeVonta Smith’s return to practice, is his preseason debut next?

· Shaun Dion Hamilton goes to injured reserve

· Roster cuts claim Kerryon Johnson, John Franklin III

· Jalen Hurts glad to see Mac Jones, Cam Newton

· Raiders drop former Alabama back in early cuts

· Miller Forristall trying to ‘stack days’ to Titans’ roster

· ‘Top 100 Players’ poll includes stars with Alabama roots

· Marlon Davidson off to new start with Falcons

Share This

Related Posts

Menu