Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Flacco among Ravens who fell in rankings
By Jamison Hensley
It was expected to see many of the Baltimore Ravens take a tumble in ESPN.com's player rankings. That's what happens when a team goes from being Super Bowl champions to finishing 8-8.
The Ravens placed four players in the ranking of the 71st to 80th-best players on offense and defense. Three of them -- quarterback Joe Flacco, cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Torrey Smith -- fell an average of 25 spots.
Let's take a look at where the four Ravens players landed in the rankings ....
80. Joe Flacco, quarterback: His free-fall of 40 spots is no surprise. Flacco was the reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player last year, and he's coming off a season in which he was picked off 22 times. To be honest, I didn't expect him to make the top 100 list. Flacco, however, was ranked No. 1 on a recent ranking of the Ravens' players by local media.
78. Marshal Yanda, guard: This ranking is way too low for Yanda. He's one of the best guards in the NFL, and ESPN.com's rankings has him behind guards Ben Grubbs and Josh Sitton. At least Yanda was ranked this year. It's crazy that he was left off the list in 2013.
74. Torrey Smith, wide receiver: This is a little higher than where I thought Smith would land. He's one of the best deep threats in the game, but he struggles with consistency. There shouldn't be a 23-spot gap between Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, who is ranked No. 97.
75. Lardarius Webb, cornerback: He dropped 25 spots from a year ago. Webb is one of the better all-around corners in the game, and he doesn't get enough credit for his physical run support despite only being 5-foot-10, 182 pounds. If he stays healthy, Webb will bounce back into the top 50 next year.