USA Today recently ranked all 32 defensive lines in the NFL and the Ravens came in at 28th. Below is their explanation why.
28. Baltimore Ravens: NT Brandon Williams is a black hole for opposing runners. But the Ravens will be looking for unproven players to emerge alongside him.
You have to love July in the NFL. Coming up with material can be a major challenge and Nate Davis of USA Today appears to have pieced these rankings together without doing a whole lot of research.
William’s presence alone should get the Ravens ranked higher than the 4th-worst defensive line in the league. The Ravens don’t let home grown talent they value walk and there’s a reason that they invested $52 million dollars in him with almost $34 million guaranteed. You can debate if it’s wise to invest that much in a player who never touches the ball, but you can’t debate that Williams is a top five player at his position – if not the best.
Michael Pierce is not an unknown player. He might be that outside of Baltimore, but so was Williams the first three years he was in the league. Good defensive linemen don’t get a ton of recognition, but if the undrafted Pierce builds off of his stellar rookie campaign he could follow in the footsteps of Williams and be a household name and be signing his own lucrative deal in the next few years.
While some of the other talent is unproven, the Ravens have invested early draft picks recently in the D line. Chris Wormley was taken in the third round this year and impressed everyone in minicamp with his professional approach. The Ravens had good intel on Wormley since he went to Michigan and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him contribute right away. It’s easy to forget about Bronson Kaufusi because of his lost rookie campaign but he was a third round pick just a year ago as well. Brent Urban has shown promise as he enters his third season and it will likely be his job to lose replacing the departed Lawrence Guy.
The Ravens have a history of coaching up defensive lineman and they are currently stockpiled with young talent and a dominant player in his prime. You could easily make an argument they should be rounding out the top ten of these rankings. 28th is ludicrous.