Rumored Ravens trade interest shows just how much they love Nate Wiggins

The Baltimore Ravens liked cornerback Nate Wiggins so much, they turned down multiple trade offers for their first-round pick.
Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) smiles after
Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) smiles after / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson's Nate Wiggins was the third cornerback taken in the 2024 NFL Draft but that doesn't reflect the value the Ravens front office placed on the former Clemson standout. GM Eric DeCosta and his staff were overjoyed with their ability to land him with the No. 30 overall pick in Round 1.

The Ravens were not the only team that tried to take advantage of Wiggins' perceived slip down the draft board. Baltimore turned down eight potential trade offers to stay put and nab the smooth cornerback, according to ESPN's Jameson Hensley.

Ravens reportedly turned down eight trade offers to keep first-round pick, draft CB Nate Wiggins

The Ravens' rationale for turning down trade offers for Wiggins was simple. DeCosta believes Wiggins was the best cover corner available in this year's class. Defensive coordinator Zach Orr took things a step forward. He called Wiggins the best overall defensive player transitioning from college to the NFL this season.

Critics of Wiggins point out his lack of physicality as a major weakness of his game. He showed excellent ability to cover opposing receivers one-on-one on his college tape but he was not a willing contributor to Clemson's run defense. That combined with a few minor injuries that cost him games during his final season at Clemson caused a few NFL teams to cool on his pro prospects.

The Ravens have the kind of physical defenders required to compensate for Wiggins' lack of force. In particular, safety Kyle Hamilton should provide him with quality protection over the top. Marlon Humphreys' ability to stop physical slot receivers also ensures Wiggins' ability to exclusively operate on the outside.

It's still imperative that Wiggins add quality weight and willingness to lay a hit on opposing receivers if he's going to fulfill his full potential. He is a bit of a boom-or-bust prospect at the moment. It's easy to envision him becoming the sort of shutdown corner the Ravens believe he will be. It's also easy to see him struggling to hold down a starting job because of his slight frame. Baltimore's front office deserves the benefit of the doubt on their evaluation but Wiggins has a lot of room to grow before he justifies the team's faith in his ability to be a star.