The Baltimore Ravens 2016 season ended in disappointment. Despite the team’s inability to reach the postseason, these individual performances should not be overlooked...
Most valuable player: Justin Tucker
The confident kicker was the best player on the team in 2016 by far. He nailed a ridiculous 97.4 percent of his field goal attempts, including a perfect 14-for-14 on 40-yard attempts and 10-for-10 from 50-plus. The only aspect of Tucker’s game that is more impressive than his elite accuracy and range is his ability to convert pressure kicks late in the fourth quarter.
Bounce back player: C.J. Mosley
Mosley played in all 16 games in 2015, but his performance last year was a clear regression from his rookie season. In 2016, Mosley bounced back to make a huge impact on the Ravens defense. His pass coverage was drastically improved this year, he corralled four interceptions in 14 games. After experiencing a sophomore slump, C.J. has reestablished himself as one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL, and a foundational player for the Ravens to build around.
Breakout player: Zachary Orr
Few expected the former undrafted free agent and special teams standout to lock up the starting inside linebacker job when veteran Daryl Smith was released in the offseason. Not only did Orr earn a prominent role on the defense, he was an upgrade over Smith and one of the Ravens best overall players in 2016. Orr lead the Ravens in tackles by a wide margin, and showed legitimate playmaking ability.
Best free agent signing: Eric Weddle
Weddle was a key cog in the Ravens 7th ranked total defense. No player was more instrumental in the pass defense’s transformation from 23rd in 2015 to 9th best in 2016. The Ravens would have been much worse off this season without Weddle’s leadership, communication, sure tackling and takeaways.
Best Rookie: Ronnie Stanley
The sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft did not disappoint. Stanley excelled in pass protection, and was graded among the best blockers in the entire league over the final quarter of the season. With another offseason of training and development, Stanley should cement himself as Baltimore’s best left tackle since the venerable Jon Ogden.
Coach of the Year: Jerry Rosberg
While the offensive and defensive coaches had more than their fair share of issues, the Ravens special teams remained near the top of the NFL. Rosberg’s coaching resulted in a blocked extra point returned for two points in Week 2, and blocked field goal in Week 3, both leading directly to wins. The Ravens also returned two blocked punts for touchdowns this season, including a crucial score against Pittsburgh. The Ravens needed dominant special teams play to compete for the playoffs, and Rosberg’s units delivered.
Men of the Year: Marshal Yanda and Terrell Suggs
This pair of long time Ravens continue to carry on the franchise’s tradition of toughness. Yanda missed three games with a serious shoulder injury, but switched from right to left guard to protect the shoulder and turned in another All Pro worthy season. Suggs returned from his second Achilles tear last season to lead the Ravens in sacks while playing through a torn bicep in the second half of the season.