Pro Football Focus ranked the top secondaries in the NFL, an area where the Ravens have significantly improved over the offseason. Pro Football Focus recognized how good this secondary could be, and ranked it as the seventh best in the NFL. Here’s what the PFF analysis team said about the Ravens:
“The strength of this secondary is at the safety position, starring Eric Weddle who was not only PFF’s top-graded safety in 2016, but at 93.8 was the highest graded player across the secondary and tied for fourth highest grade across the entire league’s defensive units. Weddle will pair with free agent addition Tony Jefferson, who had the second highest run defense grade (95.6) and run stops (27). Losing Tavon Young for the season is a blow to this unit, and they’ll be hoping for some contribution from first round pick Marlon Humphrey. The addition of Brandon Boykin could prove to be underrated, as while he missed the entire 2016 season, he has been one of the league’s more [effective] slot corners when able to get on the field. Boykin saw the sixth lowest passer rating when targeted in the slot back in 2015 when healthy.”
Pro Football Focus has hailed the Ravens safety duo as among the NFL’s best throughout the offseason, as Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson both finished the year graded in the top five of all safeties. That seems to be the key factor in the Ravens ranking.
It’s possible that the Ravens could be ranked even higher if Tavon Young was healthy. Young was the highest graded cornerback on the Ravens last year, receiving a grade of over 80.
The Giants secondary was ranked first; PFF noted their star safety Landon Collins, cornerback duo of Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and emerging young rookie corner Eli Apple as the reasons for the top ranking. The Denver Broncos with the duo of Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib, surprisingly, were ranked outside of the top three, coming in at fourth. The Patriots were ranked second, as adding Stephon Gilmore to pair with Malcolm Butler forms a strong cornerback duo. The Seahawks and their Legion of Boom came in third. Also in front of the Ravens is the Atlanta Falcons (fifth) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (sixth).