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Jernigan is the Ravens' secret superstar

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

PFF is looking at each team to determine who their 'secret superstar' is. For the Baltimore Ravens, they chose defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan with that honor. Having watched Jernigan's rookie season, I can see why they selected him as most people have no clue who he is outside of Baltimore... yet.

Everyone that watches football knows that Baltimore is known for it's punishing defense. With players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the Ravens' past, it has had it's fair share of stars on that side of the ball. Owning the best defense in the history of football means that in order to make a name for yourself on this defense, you have to be something special. For Jernigan, PFF took a look at his rookie season to determine what type of player is starting to earn accolades already.

Ziegler mentions that Ozzie Newsome stole Jernigan in the Draft with the 48th overall pick, despite many thinking that Jernigan had a first round grade on him. Us Ravens fans know that Newsome is a Draft day God, so this comes as no real shock that he grabbed a first round talent in the second.

Looking into his season stats, PFF mentions that he didn't look so hot in preseason, but was able to turn it on once the games mattered. Sadly, an injury kept him out of the lineup until week 7, when he came back with a vengeance.

He was a standout in that stretch: his 46.2% Run Stop Percentage was the best among 3-4 defensive ends, and as a pass rusher he posted a Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 9.8. In Week 8 against Cincinnati, he proved the scouts right by bullying the O-line on many snaps. That was his highest-graded game with Ngata being the only defensive lineman grading higher.

Then with Ngata's suspension, Jernigan found himself playing significantly more as the starter. Seeing his snap count go from 28% to 56%, Jernigan had a chance to shine or fall back. He shined as well all know, showing off his bright future as the guy to replace Haloti Ngata.

Timmy Jernigan was the third-highest rated DL man for the Ravens in 2014, behind Ngata and Brandon Williams. He saw limited snaps, but did a lot with them; in his position group, he posted the sixth-best Run Stop Percentage (10.1%) and the second-highest Pass Rushing Productivity (9.7). While Ngata still out performed him in many areas, Ngata is 31, while Jernigan is 22.