The NFL must think highly of the Ravens' linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Ranked the highest of all the Ravens so far at number 46, Dumervil is another member of the Ravens pass rush to make the list.
Dumervil might really only be a pass rushing linebacker for the Ravens, but he uses the time he has on the field well, notching 17 sacks in 2014. As part of the second rated pass rushing defense with the Ravens, Dumervil was ranked third overall in the NFL last season behind players like Justin Houston and J.J. Watt despite turning 31 years old in January.
Since the NFL's list is more about how they think players will perform in 2015, the upper half ranking for Dumervil should mean great things for the Ravens. After a career year, Dumervil should get a little more attention from opponents as well as a little more competition from the younger players behind him. If, with the added pressure, Dumervil can come close to his numbers from 2014, most would mark that as a successful season for an over-30 linebacker.
Most know that Dumervil was originally a Denver Bronco, but was released late after the 2012 NFL season due to a 'fax issue', that seemed to be more Denver just releasing a high cap player than with any actual issues. Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the front office for Baltimore rightfully immediately acted on Dumervil's release from the Broncos and offered him a solid contract to come play for the Ravens. With the release coming so late into the season, most other teams were strapped for cap space and unable to match what the Ravens could on both money and the ability to play for a Super Bowl contending team.
Over Dumervil's two years in Baltimore, he has put up 68 tackles and 26.5 sacks as well as 4 forced fumbles. His stats come despite only being a rotational player that sees most of his snaps coming during obvious passing situations. Signed on a 5 year, $26 million contract, Dumervil is signed through the 2017 season but sees his cap hit go significantly over his dead cap space starting in 2016, meaning that the Ravens could look to extend him further or release him outright if they need the extra cap room.