Recently the NFL posted their "Top 12 Defensive Line Rankings". Apparently they forgot about the Baltimore Ravens and the defensive line prowess they possess.
Not being top five is clearly understandable. Hell, I’m okay with not landing in the top 10. Baltimore cannot stack up to 10, the Miami Dolphins. Miami has Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams and Cameron Wake. Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy don’t outproduce these names. It doesn’t help we don’t run 4-3, and outside linebackers are not included in the list.
Baltimore should however be mentioned at twelfth on the list, pushing Kansas City out of the last spot talked about.
Dontari Poe is not Brandon Williams. I’ve watched countless matchups with Brandon Williams abusing double teams and clogging every gap on the line with his strength and size. Williams is quite arguably the best nose tackle in the NFL. His run stuffing stats were unreal last season. The highlighted stats also back this up, with Brandon making 14 more tackles and one more sack.
Up next, Jaye Howard vs. Lawrence Guy.
Lawrence Guy started in only seven games compared to Howard’s fourteen, yet produced only one less sack. Howard is only a slight edge ahead, but if Guy starts in more games the outcome is much closer.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal sites Allen Bailey as another player producing for the Chiefs, but stacking up against Timmy Jernigan doesn’t really have a big win here. It’s a slight edge;Bailey a half sack more, but five less tackles. Jernigan was in a sophomore slump and still produced almost exactly the same amount while only starting in eight games to Bailey’s twelve. Bailey does get the edge as I mentioned though, after forcing two fumbles compared to Jernigan’s zero. . .
The next player up for Kansas City is Chris Jones, the defensive tackle out of Mississippi State. He’s a rookie, and hasn’t been involved with a single NFL snap yet. "Rookie second-rounder Chris Jones will fit right in because of his toughness and forgettable name," says Rosenthal. Jones may just ‘fit right in’, but Baltimore has players already fitting in. Carl Davis experienced very big growing pains yet started in two games for Baltimore. Brent Urban also finally became healthy and made six tackles, one sack, and blocked a game-winning field goal which became a walk-off kick six. How about showing the love where it’s due?
No doubt Baltimore can’t be measured up with the LA Rams or New York Jets, but leaving this Baltimore squad off the list, or not even an honorable mention is disappointing.