On Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport released an annual article ranking the Top-25 players in the NFL under the age of 25. It’s an interesting concept and a piece worth talking about, especially when three Ravens players are featured in the Top-10 of the list.
In Davenport’s ranking, Orlando Brown Jr. ranks No. 9, Marlon Humphrey is one slot ahead at No. 8 and the top overall spot belongs to Lamar Jackson.
To be fair, lists like these truly don’t mean much at all in the grand scheme of things but it’s always nice to see Ravens players garner national recognition. Of course, it’s not as though Jackson, Humphrey, nor Brown Jr. are deprived of that already.
All three players are incredibly accomplished for being as young as they are. Jackson has a league MVP under his belt, Brown Jr. is a two-time Pro Bowler and Humphrey has both Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors to his name.
On Brown Jr., Davenport noted that in each of the past two seasons he allowed only three sacks. This is an impressive figure especially considering he played half of 2020 at left tackle instead of right tackle. It’s certainly possible Brown Jr. is daunting a different uniform next season but for now he’s still a Raven.
Brown Jr. is the highest-ranked offensive lineman on Davenport’s list and the only one ranked inside the Top-10. The only other offensive lineman ranked are Tristian Wirfs at No. 17 and Frank Ragnow at No. 24. So, by this estimation that would make Brown Jr. the league’s best offensive lineman under 25 years old.
Humphrey, Davenport proclaims, “has emerged as one of the most talented, versatile corners in the NFL.” He also notes that in two of the past three years, opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of under 70 when targeting Humphrey as well as a sub-60% completion percentage.
The only defensive back ranked higher than Humphrey is Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander at No. 3. The only other cornerback listed at all is Marshon Lattimore down at No. 23. In addition to Alexander, the other players sandwiched in between Humphrey and the No. 1 spot include the likes of Chase Young, Justin Herbert, D.K. Metcalf, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen.
And of course, at No. 1, Davenport gave the nod to Jackson over Allen and Murray. Davenport points out Jackson’s historical rushing production, impressive TD:INT ratio, and winning record as a starter. Fact check — true.
Jackson being ranked above Allen and perhaps to a lesser degree Murray will likely ruffle some feathers. It’s difficult to argue any of them aren’t deserving of their high rankings on the list though.
Davenport’s rankings just reaffirm that the NFL is in good hands for many years to come and fortunately, the Ravens are part of the reason why.
You can check out the full article here.