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Thursday, January 16, 2014
NFLN survey/franchise player: Ravens

By Jamison Hensley

When players were asked which one player would you start a team with, I assumed the most popular answer would be Andrew Luck. Well, I was wrong.

Peyton Manning surprisingly edged out Luck in an ESPN survey of 320 players. Manning beat Luck by six votes, getting 19.3 percent.

In my mind, Luck's age -- he's 13 years younger than Manning -- would've been a bigger factor in the poll. The most popular non-quarterback was wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who received 37 votes (11.6 percent).

As far as the Ravens go, the one player you would want to start a team with is quarterback Joe Flacco. I know this will draw a lot of criticism, but he's 28 years old and is a year removed from being the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.

I'm not sure who else you would select. On offense, running back Ray Rice may be wearing down and wide receiver Torrey Smith faded at times last season. Defensively, Terrell Suggs disappeared in the second half of last season and Haloti Ngata has been the same type of impact player the past two seasons. This is why I would go with Flacco.