The Baltimore Ravens have had some of the greatest defenses in the history of the NFL. Within those great defenses were some of the best defensive players that this league has ever seen. It was very difficult to get this list down to just 10 players because the Ravens have had so many game changers throughout the course of their franchise. I picked this list based on the impact that the players had on the team, not just necessarily statistics. I will start the list off at number 10…
10. DT Kelly Gregg (2001-2010)
Kelly Gregg was one of the more overlooked pieces in some of the best Baltimore Ravens defenses. Gregg clogged the middle and made it hard for teams to run the ball. He is second all-time in tackles in Baltimore Ravens history with 721.
9. LB Bart Scott (2002-2008)
Mr. Can’t Wait! Bart was one of the most dynamic linebackers that the Baltimore Ravens had. It took a while for him to get going once he got to Baltimore, only recording 63 tackles in his first 3 years, but once he got going there was no stopping him. He was a great compliment to Ray Lewis and Adalius Thomas. From 2005 to 2008 Scott recorded 370 tackles, and was one of the vocal leaders on an already vocal defense.
8. S Rod Woodson (1998-2001)
Rod Woodson anchored the secondary when the Baltimore Ravens won their Super Bowl in 2000. In his first 2 years in Baltimore he had 13 interceptions. He was a game changer for the Ravens.
7. DE Michael McCrary (1997-2002)
Michael McCrary is another one of those Baltimore guys that did not get the praise that he deserved. McCrary was a workhorse on the edge and was one of the best pass rushers in the league during his stint in Baltimore. Michael McCrary had 41.5 sacks in his first 4 seasons, and was a key component of the Baltimore defense.
6. CB Chris McAlister (1999-2008)
Standing at about 6 ft. 1 in. and 210 pounds, Chris McAlister was one of the most physical corners in the NFL for a long period of time. There were not many wide receivers in the NFL that had a field day when McAlister was checking them. McAlister recorded 26 interceptions in 10 seasons in Baltimore, and because of his presence on the outside the Baltimore defense was able to bring a lot of pressure.
5. LB Terrell Suggs (2003- Present)
There are not many men scarier in the NFL than Terrell Suggs. In just 9 years Suggs is already 2nd all-time in sacks in Baltimore history with 68.5. He has been one of the most dominant players on the defensive side of the ball since he came into the league. Suggs is the Ravens all-time leader in forced fumbles with 22, and has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times.
4. DT Tony Siragusa (1997-2001)
Siragusa is one of those players for the Baltimore Ravens whose impact alone got him onto this list. Goose, as he is known throughout the league, was never a big stat stuffer, but he definitely was a big run stuffer. He is one of those players that made his teammates better because teams were forced to double team him at times.
3. LB Peter Boulware (1997-2005)
Peter Boulware was one of the hardest working players in the history of the Ravens. He complimented the defense well because he did a lot of the dirty work. There weren’t many piles or scuffles that Peter Boulware wasn’t a part of. Boulware was most known for his ability to rush the quarterback. He is the Baltimore Ravens all-time sack leader with 70, and was one of the major pieces in the success of the Ravens dominant defenses.
2. S Ed Reed (2002- Present)
Has there been a more exciting player on the defensive side of the ball in the past decade other than Ed Reed? Reed is arguably the best safety of my generation, and was one of the most complete defensive players in NFL history. Not only did Ed Reed put a lot offensive players on Monday Night Countdown’s segment Jacked Up!, but he is still one of the best cover defenders in the league. The ball always seems to find him. Reed won the NFL Defensive MVP in 2004, and is currently the all-time leader in interceptions for the Baltimore Ravens with 54. In 2008 against the Eagles, Ed Reed set a NFL-record with a 107-yard interception return touchdown. That broke his previous record of 106-yards which he did in 2004 against Cleveland.
1. LB Ray Lewis (1996- Present)
There is not much to say about this guy that people don’t already know. Ray Lewis has had one of the most illustrious careers in NFL history. Lewis has been to 12 Pro Bowls and has been named NFL Defensive MVP twice in his career. He currently has the most tackles amongst active NFL players with 2,491. It is very difficult for a linebacker to be looked as the face of a franchise, but Ray Lewis has been the face of the Ravens since he came into the league.
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