Which Ravens players are in a year to 'prove it'?

Rob Carr

Players that need to prove themselves.

A few Ravens have found themselves on the chopping block or the hot seat, and we are awaiting this season in hopes of them salvaging their status among the purple and black, or if their locker will be cleaned out by next season.

Immediately, I have a couple players in mind.

Terrence CodyNicknamed "Mount Cody." A big man, with a load of college accolades. He was a dominant force in college, playing for the Crimson Tide, and was labeled as impossible to guard one on one in his college career. Cody was very good prospect, some said the No. 1 for a true 3-4 nose tackle. Cody, while dominant in Alabama, just hasn't seemed to translate as well to the NFL. It is absolutely difficult for multiple reasons, and he has been given a few passes. But after four NFL years, it's time to make the plays, or be let go.

Ray RiceA player who has been a consistent cog in the Raven engine, almost became the worst RB in recorded history. Last year was abysmal for the run game, and the entire offense as a whole. Rice is the seventh highest paid running back and needs to prove that last year was nothing more than a fluke. Whether it be the Jim Caldwell system, the horrible O-line play, or the hip injury, or just a terrible year, we need to see Rice's production. Reportedly, he has cut down his weight and looked great so far this offseason. Just a little Ray of hope to get Rice back on track.

Matt Elam - Now this one is quite the reach, but hear me out. Elam was a rookie, playing out of his position (free safety instead of strong), and it was a very large burden to carry. This year, Elam will be back and playing naturally at strong safety, and will hopefully prove worthy of being a first round pick.

Jimmy Smith - A very slow starting first round selection, Smith has finally grown into his cleats. By the end of last season, Smith played a very dominant role, keeping Brandon Marshall, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, and Calvin Johnson Jr. to zero touchdowns and not much for yards. This year, he needs to prove it wasn't a fluke and continue to be a shut down corner that the Ravens can consistently count on. He is riding on the fifth-year option this season, and in a contract year Jimmy will be expected to play for the big dollars that should hopefully be headed his way.

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