Two members of the Baltimore Ravens were ranked in the top five players of the NFL for 2011, as noted on NFL.com. Ray Lewis was ranked number four and Ed Reed right behind him at number five on the list of the top 100 players of 2011. Ahead of both Reed and Lewis were Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (#3), Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning (#2) and at the top of the list, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (#1).
Two thing stand out in the ranking positions of both Ravens players. Ray Lewis is the highest ranked defensive player on the entire list, meaning that he is being looked at as the best defensive player in the NFL. Perhaps a lot of his ranking has to do with his abilities to motivate his teammates on the field and sidelines as well as mentor them in the locker room and in life as well. However, that should not take anything away from the guy who probably is as well prepared for the game by his training regimen as well as his legendary film studying sessions with teammates.
Ed Reed's positioning is also key in that the guy ranked right behind him at number six is Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. Few days go by, even in the off season, that the comparison and debate of which safety is the best in the NFL between Reed and Polamalu. While this debate is far from settled, especially between Ravens and Steelers fans, it is very, very satisfying to see Ed above Troy, as well as Ray as the top ranked defensive player. Remember, these rankings were not voted upon by fans, it was determined by the votes of the players themselves, which could be no higher complement to these two Baltimore Ravens and sure soon to be members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.