The list of University of Alabama players selected by the Baltimore Ravens is a very long one. Players such as Marlon Humphrey, Anthony Averett, Courtney Upshaw and CJ Mosley come to mind as recent examples of Alabama draft picks that made their way to Baltimore under former general manager Ozzie Newsome.
“I think there are certain college football programs that are built more like NFL programs. Alabama is one, [and] Michigan is the other one, I would say,” coach John Harbaugh said. “So, those guys generally come in, and they kind of know what to expect. It’s a little flatter for those guys, in terms of practice and understanding how it works.”
Newsome played for Alabama, but it’s no coincidence that the Ravens have closely scouted Crimson Tide prospects. Newsome stepped aside last season for new general manager Eric DeCosta to take over after the two worked closely together over the years.
This season DeCosta selected an Alabama player for the first time when he drafted defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis in the fourth round. Davis is a long cornerback that has his best football ahead of him.
Amour-Davis started one season at Alabama, but he feels his time under coach Nick Saban prepared him for the NFL.
“There’s nothing that he [Saban] does that doesn’t translate over to life or on the field,” Armour-Davis said at rookie minicamp. “So, it teaches you mental toughness, for sure. Not just because of the guys you’re going against in practice, but just the way the organization is ran. He teaches you how to prepare. You’re not going to be able to be successful, let alone get on the field with him, if you’re not prepared as much as he is. He does everything that he preaches to us. It really trickles down to the players, which is why I think they continue to be successful. It was a blessing for me. It’s something that I’ll look back on and be able to tell my kids one day.”
The Ravens should find a spot for Armour-Davis in the rotation that includes Humphrey and Marcus Peters as starters. He fits the Ravens prototype at cornerback because of his 6-foot-1, 197-pound frame.
Armour-Davis has already drawn comparisons to Averett, a 2018 fourth-round selection by the Ravens from Alabama. Averett has moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders. So DeCosta got a younger, less expensive version.
“I would say similar in the fact of his athletic ability, I think, is pretty similar. He’s a fast, twitchy guy. He can play man-to-man, inside and outside. He’s smart. He’s not going to do undisciplined things,” Armour-Davis said of comparisons to Averett. “Those are all the traits that I’ve been able pick up. Obviously, I think one comes with being from the University of Alabama; Coach Saban is going to recruit a certain type of guy, and we’re all going to learn the same thing. So, if someone is looking at it from that way, then we can just both pinpoint that we both trusted the process while we were there, which is probably why we’re similar.”