Ravens running back Ray Rice was voted by his NFL brethren as the #13 overall player during the 2012 season. Rice jumps up nine spots from his 22nd-overall ranking for the 2011-12 season.
Rice is the highest-ranked running back thus far, beating out players like Chris Johnson (TEN), Doug Martin (TB), Frank Gore (SF), and Marshawn Lynch (SEA). Given that the Top 10 spots still remain, Rice likely will finish third in his position, trailing Arian Foster (Hou) and Adrian Peterson (Min), who likely will be named the top overall player on the countdown after already being named the NFL’s 2012 MVP .
Rice started 20 games including the playoffs for the Super Bowl champions. He rushed for 1,449 yards with 11 touchdowns on his way to the Ravens’ second Lombardi trophy in franchise history. Even though Rice was impressive on the ground, it wasn’t the only thing he did well last season.
He added 566 yards receiving on 69 receptions, finding the end zone once.
Even though feeling the confetti fall from the Superdome was the ideal way to cap his season, Rice will likely be remembered for his heroic Week 12 4th and 29 catch and run against the San Diego Chargers, which was agruably the play of the year.
Rice may not lead NFL running backs in rushing, receiving, or touchdowns, but he is an elusive runner who can be counted on to get tough yards (i.e.: Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice Up the Middle).
Unless Ray Lewis pulls an upset and is named into the Top 10 for his career accomplishments, Rice is likely the last Raven to make the countdown. However, their are plenty of his fellow current and former teammates in the nest:
- #100 Dennis Pitta (TE)
- # 93 Anquan Boldin (WR)
- # 88 Jacoby Jones (WR)
- # 87 Bernard Pollard (S)
- # 56 Terrell Suggs (OLB)
- #42 Haloti Ngata (DE)
- #19 Joe Flacco (QB)
- #18 Ed Reed (S)
Heading into the Top 10, it’s fitting that the Ravens were represented fairly with the most selections so far on the countdown. Even though Rice had a great season and a Top 15 ranking is well deserved, I for some reason can’t believe Flacco wasn’t chosen as the top overall for the team.
What do you think?