Bucky Brooks this year has managed to forget Baltimore almost entirely for the upcoming 2015 season. The list of "most talented teams excluding quarterback" if you have not read, includes talented team rosters on paper that are excluding the quarterback position. In this list include the Dolphins, Bills, and Vikings while managing to miss out on a squad of consistent play-off producing talent. While I'm not going to bash and rant on those teams being wrong for this list, I am only going to prove that this Charm City team deserves a ranking in the top ten for the NFL.
Blue Chips (8): Marshal Yanda, Steve Smith Sr., Kelechi Osemele, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Will Hill, Jimmy Smith, Kyle Arrington
On the rise: Rick Wagner, CJ Mosley, Justin Forsett
In the last seven years for Baltimore, the Ravens have been into the playoffs six times, and left the gridiron with the Lombardi trophy once. A team which obviously fields an incredible amount of talent feels like a no-brainer to be included into the most talented team's without a QB. Half the media is against Flacco anyways so why not include this Baltimore squad "who carries Joe Flacco with a tough defense" anyways. I'm not making this up, we all hear that comment so frequent.
The #1 guard in the NFL Marshal Yanda is on this squad, and talented enough to hop in and play tackle when the injury depth gets rough. Dubbed "The Compass" by Jon Gruden because, "If you need to know where the play is headed, watch THAT GUY." Yanda is skilled enough to one on one Ndamukong Suh and win in the trenches. Clearly a huge blue chip player. For a quick look on PFF Yanda is rated overall a +43.4. The second best guard is almost 20 points less. Yanda is All-Pro talent every year.
For now Smith Sr. refuses to answer the doorbell of Father Time, and torching secondaries last season proves the worth of a blue chip talent. Especially if Bucky has Mike Wallace as a blue chip.
The best tandem for Baltimore is not the edge rushers although it's close, but the guard tandem of Yanda and Big KO is more talented. Kelechi Osemele is sitting at the 6th best guard in the NFL with an overall of +21.6. While some may argue Green Bay's guard tandem is better than Baltimore I have watched enough to respectfully disagree and I believe Baltimore possesses the best guard tandem in the NFL. Two top 6 guards in the NFL are worth noting in a "most talented roster" list.
Oh T-sizzle. How can you forgot the talent of Baltimore with a character like T-Sizzle. "Hacksaw, Ball So Hard University." I mean this man was rated 4th best overall at the 3-4 OLB position, and deservedly so. Are we forgetting this man had 14 sacks last year and another 11 QB hits in the regular season? Or how about the 27 tackles Suggs accumulated. Terrell consistently dominates against left tackles and needs double teamed. The "no longer in his prime" argument won't work.
Speaking of edge rush talent, how about the man with 19 sacks this year on the opposite side of Terrell Suggs. Elvis Kool Dumervil, the lightning speed rush technician was in a competition with Kansas City's Justin Houston for the sack title with 2 weeks left. Dumervil deserves to be mentioned.
Will Hill, the second coming of a safety that Baltimore so desperately needed. The presence of Will Hill alone revitalized the empty secondary Baltimore fielded by the end of the season. Will is a playmaking safety with speed, smarts, and instints to force turnovers. Hill is a threat, and clearly a skilled NFL safety.
Coming off a foot surgery is never good to hear, but Jimmy Smith feels like a lock to blanket receivers once more like an ugly snuggy. Smith is forced to cover talents ranging from (my opinion) #1 NFL receiver Antonio Brown, top 8 receiver AJ Green, and at one point Josh "Flash" Gordon whom could shred defenses if not for the active personal lifestyle. Jimmy Smith is a shut down corner through and through. But the name isn't flashy enough for households to fear. Maybe Bucky forgot about Smith. I know Antonio Brown doesn't.
If only forced to be involved in the slot, Arrington is a blue chip. Kyle is a wickedly talented SLOT corner which is completely necessary when the only way teams could beat us was two second "snap and throw" offense. The Ravens D-line and pass rush wouldn't allow five or seven step drops without punishment.
On the rise, CJ Mosley the next best linebacker for Baltimore whom hits anything and everything that touches a football on opposing offenses. Rick Wagner also becoming the NFL's best right tackle out of nowhere whom should come back this season ready for action. Finally Justin Forsett, the one cut back whom churned out 5.4 YPC for 1,266 yards and 8 endzones. If J-Force proceeds where he left of no doubt Baltimore fields a top 10 most talented roster without involving quarterbacks. But just as always, Baltimore plays better when everybody manages to forgot about them and underestimate the roster.