The preseason is nearly done and over with as the cuts down to 75 are due by 4pm today. Time for one final list ranking the players! ESPN is closing out the preseason by ranking NFL players and from 51-100, the Ravens are featured an amazing 5 times.
First up is Marshal Yanda, who personally is ranked way too low for a player of his caliber at the 58th spot. He might not play a marquee position, but when you are heads and shoulders above the competition at your position, you warrant a little extra consideration.
According to PFF, Yanda was the Jupiter in the guard solar system last season, by far the most dominant player at his position in the NFL. The tape says he might be the most dominant run-blocker in the NFL at any position. "He's a competitive, tough finisher in the run game," said one panelist. The former Iowa Hawkeye has been to four straight Pro Bowls.
Add it up: Yanda has played 3,886 snaps at left or right guard in the past four seasons, second most in the AFC, behind Zane Beadles.
Next up is the forever silly Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker and pass rusher for the Baltimore Ravens. At the 62nd spot, Suggs is another player that could be ranked higher. Despite his age, Suggs has been one of the more dominant players in the league, battling both in the run game and as a pass rusher for the Ravens. Just last season Suggs notched 12 sacks, proving he is still one of the best in the league.
As a junior at Arizona State, Suggs piled up a Tecmo Bowl-like 24 sacks, one of those goofy numbers that doesn't seem grounded in football reality. But while Suggs has never had more than 14 sacks in an NFL season, he's now at 106.5 for his career, which means the six-time Pro Bowler is inching his way into Hall of Fame conversations. And that 2012 Achilles injury? Suggs has played in every game over the past two seasons.
Add it up: Suggs' 12.0 sacks last year were tied for second in his career. The only year he had more (2011, 14 sacks), he ended up winning NFL defensive player of the year.
Not too far behind Suggs is second-year linebacker C.J. Mosley at the 68 spot. What is more interesting is the relative spot of Khalil Mack all the way up at 53. It speaks volumes to the idea that they think Mack takes off this season while Mosley has a repeat to his 2014 season. The Ravens would be happy to have one of the league's top tacklers again as Mosley destroyed any other rookie defender on that level.
"Odell had the fantasy numbers, but this was the NFL's best rookie last year," said one voter. Another: "Range, range, range. He's a dynamic chess piece to counter a fantasy-football-driven league." In other words, Mosley has arrived. His 129 total tackles last season paced the Ravens.
Add it up: Mosley had 21 more tackles than any other rookie last year and only 24 fewer than league leader Luke Kuechly.
The Ravens have two major pass rushers and the other was not forgotten. Elvis Dumervil makes his way onto the list and 72nd. 17-sacks and an All-Pro season led him to being one of the best in the league at getting after the quarterback last season. Only 10-sacks away from the mystical 100, Dumervil should see that feat by mid-season.
It's been more than nine years since Dumervil fell to the fourth round of the 2006 draft after a 20-sack season at Louisville. Of course, 5-foot-11 defensive ends who don't run very fast tend to fall. But Dumervil got the last laugh, as he now has 90 sacks, and is coming off a monster 17-sack, All-Pro season. His lack of length has become an asset. "He can get under the pads of tackles and generate pressure," said a voter.
Add it up: Dumervil has the third-most sacks since 2009 (65).
Last, but not least on our list is quarterback Joe Flacco at 87th. Shocking when you consider how good he has been in the postseason, but somehow not all that surprising given the waffling by analysts across the country on just how much of a weapon Flacco has been for the Ravens.
The positive: Flacco has started 112 of a possible 112 NFL games, has never led a team to a record below .500 for a season, and has a Super Bowl ring courtesy of a brilliant playoff run in 2012 during which he threw 12 TD passes and not a single INT. The negative: He has never finished higher than No. 10 overall in QBR. If there were bonus points for being the signature QB of the debate on whatever the heck "elite" means, Flacco could be inducted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow without a five-year wait.
Add it up: Flacco has seven road playoff wins, the most of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.