SB nation released their 2014 NFL All-Sophomore team comprised of second year players that they expect to make a serious shine. Left off that list is any Ravens' player, which hurts a little bit.
The Ravens are one of the NFL's best drafting teams and have been since the team came to Baltimore in 1996. With one of the highest success rates in both drafted and undrafted players in the league, it is a serious surprise that none of the Ravens' second year players make an appearance on the list. While it is tough competition for sure at major spots, here are several Ravens that deserve to make the cut.
Marlon Brown - Wide Receiver
Brown had a beast of a year on an offense not known for having great receivers or insane passing numbers. Brown's seven touchdowns tie him with players like Alshon Jeffery, Jordan Cameron, Vincent Jackson and Anquan Boldin. Not too shabby for a rookie playing on an offense having a terrible year, huh? Now figure in that Brown caught those seven touchdowns on fewer catches than nearly every player above him in the NFL and you have something that is even more impressive. Brown is primed to take an even bigger role in the offense as the legitimate no. 2 receiver on the team and with new addition Steve Smith training the young man on running better routes.
Arthur Brown - Linebacker
Daniel just did a nice article about Arthur Brown where he detailed that Brown is in major competition for the starting inside linebacker position with first round pick C.J. Mosley. Brown has been getting rave reviews out of OTAs with head coach John Harbaugh saying
Another guy who's grown as a second year player, [he] knows what he’s doing – he’s playing fast.
Regardless of if Brown gets the starting nod, he is expected to be a force in the defense using his speed to create some serious mismatches for the defense and disrupt offenses throughout the season. Brown is another player that is primed to have a monster year on an already impressive and stacked defense.
Matt Elam - Strong Safety
There has been plenty written about Matt Elam so far in OTAs as a player that has grown so much since his rookie year. Elam looked out of place at times last season while playing free safety, a position that doesn't suite what Elam brings to the table. A natural strong safety, Elam is already slated to take over the leadership role on a secondary that doesn't get enough love for being as scary as it really is. Elam is even getting unasked praise from Ravens corner Lardarius Webb.
Brandon Williams - Defensive Tackle
Williams is one player that Ravens' fans and coaches expect big things out of this season. He is even labeled as ESPN's breakout player of the year, which should speak volumes about what he can do this coming season. Williams will be a player that at least sees the field as a rotational player but is expected to grab a starting spot that Arthur Jones left open when he departed for more money this offseason. Speaking of money... that position has been money for players to suddenly spark and make a name for themselves and it looks like it will be no different for Williams.
Kapron Lewis-Moore - Defensive End
Lewis-Moore is quickly making a name for himself as another breakout candidate that came from nowhere. With the Ravens' history of picking diamonds in the later rounds of the draft, the former sixth round pick out of Notre Dame is next in line for a surprise performance that puts his name on the map on a tough Ravens' defensive line that is ranked as one of the best. While most outside of Baltimore don't know his name now, word is that they will by midseason.