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Ravens 2014 player rankings: No. 17

ESPN.com polled 18 Baltimore media members for their top 20 players on the 2014 Baltimore Ravens roster. The countdown will cover the four weeks between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp. You can click here for an introduction on how the blog put together the rankings.

Let's continue the countdown ...

No. 17: Matt Elam

Position: Strong safety

Total points: 74.

Highest ranking: No. 9. Lowest ranking: Not ranked.

What you need to know: Elam was the only rookie draft pick to start last season, but he didn't consistently make plays because he played out of position at free safety. The 2013 first-round pick has moved to strong safety during the offseason practices and has embraced a leadership role.

Where Elam should be ranked: This is a fair ranking for Elam. I had him at No. 17 because he should make more plays by switching to his natural position. But he doesn't deserve to be any higher until he makes more of an impact.

File this away: In his final three games, Elam recorded 26 tackles and made his only interception of the season.

What the Ravens are saying about Elam: "The person who is just really growing is Matt Elam. From last year to this year, I see a big jump with his leadership, with him controlling the back end and just being that safety, controlling the calls. I just really like where I see him going.” -- cornerback Lardarius Webb

Here is the panel of voters: Morgan Adsit (WBFF-TV), Clifton Brown (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Jerry Coleman (105.7 The Fan), Bruce Cunnningham (WBFF-TV), Steve Davis (105.7 The Fan), John Eisenberg (Baltimore Ravens website), Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV), David Ginsburg (Associated Press), Brent Harris (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Brett Hollander (WBAL Radio), Luke Jones (WNST Radio), Joe Platania (the Press Box), Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV), Mark Viviano (WJZ-TV), Aaron Wilson (Baltimore Sun), Matt Zenitz (Carroll County Times), Jeff Zrebiec (Baltimore Sun) and Jamison Hensley (ESPN.com).