“We still can be historic. We still can be magical. Forget hype, you know what I’m saying? We know who we are and we know what we’re about.” ~ Terrell Suggs
Here is my official list of the MVPs from each NFL team. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks in the comments!NFC North
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was voted the 26th-best player in the NFL by his peers on "Top 100 Players of 2014."
The NFL free agency frenzy has, for the most part, passed, and now football fans are looking forward to the next big event on the calendar- the NFL draft. Here are the best fits for each of my three favorite teams, by pick in the draft.
1. Dallas Cowboys (16th pick)- The Cowboys need to start drafting well. They have not had good drafts for the past few years and have a lot to work on. The big hole is on defense, where the unit ranks as one of the league's worst. There should be plenty of defensive players available, but Jerry Jones's problem has been knowing which to choose (see Morris Claiborne).
Draft Picks that would Help- Because of the departure of DeMarcus Ware, the defense only has one proven player- Sean Lee, who is often injured. The defense needs great athletes, and two of the best are linebacker CJ Mosley out of Alabama and safety Calvin Pryor out of Louisville. Mosley would complement Lee as an inside linebacker and would be starting most of the time given Lee's injury history. Pryor would shore up one of the worst pass defending teams in the NFL and can be a leader. The defensive line is also an issue, as Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Jason Hatcher have left. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald would be the best fit for the Dallas defense, as he is the best interior player in the draft and can also be a leader.
Best Draft Pick: Given the Cowboys do not trade up or down, Pryor would have to be the best pick. Mosley will almost definitely be off the board by the time the Cowboys pick, so he will probably not be a Cowboy. Pryor has been desired by many teams so he could also go off the board, but if he is available he would help the worst part of the defense- the secondary. If he is off the board, Dallas should opt for Aaron Donald.
2. Baltimore Ravens (17th pick)- After a poor offseason in 2013, Ozzie Newsome made had one of the best in recent memory this year. The Ravens had multiple free agents but were able to resign a few major players, such as Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones, Daryl Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Eugene Monroe. Those resignings should help fill some holes, but there are still others made by the losses of other players.
Draft Picks that would Help- The offensive line definitely needs more help, so Taylor Lewan from Michigan or Zack Martin from Notre Dame would be solid picks if they are still available. Baltimore also has a need in the receiving core despite the signing of Steve Smith and would benefit from the addition of tight end Eric Ebron, wide receiver Marqise Lee, or wide receiver Mike Evans. The Ravens have traditionally had a stout defense but have a need in the secondary. Safeties Ha-Ha Clinton Dix or Calvin Pryor would be great picks for the secondary. Newsome has been known for picking the best available player, so if linebacker CJ Mosley falls to the 17th pick the Ravens could snatch him up.
Best Draft Pick: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame- The Ravens are trying to find an offensive identity. After the loss of Michael Oher, Baltimore needs a tackle to be a leader and a great blocker in pass and run. Martin has all of those qualities and should be available when the Ravens pick.
3. San Diego Chargers (25th pick)- Of the three teams that are included in this article, the Chargers went the farthest in the postseason, making it to the divisional round. Their needs are mainly on the offensive line, linebacking core, and secondary. The latter is the biggest need, but San Diego should be able to fix that even with the late 1st round pick.
Draft Picks that would Help- This draft is one of the best, and Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, Bradley Roby, Lamarcus Joyner, Jason Verrett, Kyle Fuller and Darqueze Dennard should all be available. Defensive tackle Louis Nix would also be a popular pick and would help stop the run game on a defensive line that is improving. On the offensive side of the ball, San Diego could pick receiver Marqise Lee or tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.
Roby, a former Ohio State corner, would be the best fit. He is projected to go in the late first round and is the aggresive corner that the Chargers need. Roby would also be able to make plays in the secondary, which already has ball-hawk safety Eric Weddle.
NFL RUSH Kid Reporter
The offseason has reached the two month mark, and free agency will be starting soon. One of the active teams, the Baltimore Ravens, who lost most of their players after the 2012 season, will probably be making a few other big changes as they look to stay in contention. Here is a recap of the first 2 months of the offseason for the Ravens.
The first move that the Ravens made in the offseason was in the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was chosen as the newest head coach of the Detroit Lions, so the first priority was to find a new OC. The wait did not last long. Former Texans coach Gary Kubiak was chosen for the job. Kubiak helped the Texans have a great rushing attack (with Arian Foster and Ben Tate) and a solid passing attack (with Andre Johnson). He will look to improve the underachieving running game while developing former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
The second priority was to retain some of the stars. Two important players, tight end Dennis Pitta and linebacker Terrell Suggs, were given multiyear contracts. Pitta was injured for most of last season but is Joe Flacco's favorite target. Suggs, a former Defensive Player of the Year, is the best defensive player and leader, not to mention a fan favorite, and the deal will likely make him a Raven for life. These were good moves that the Ravens needed to stay competitive.
Unfortunately for Baltimore, Joe Flacco's massive contract caused them to lose a lot of players last year and will again force them to cut players this year. Two underrated players, fullback Vonta Leach and linebacker Jameel McClain, will be let go after multiple seasons with the team. Leach is a former All-Pro, but he was not a priority for the team. McClain has been with the team for many years but Suggs was needed more. These two moves saved up about 5 million in cap space but will hurt the team.
The Ravens will make a few more moves, ranging from free agency to the draft. Other free agents for the team include offensive tackle Michael Oher, receiver and return specialist Jacoby Jones, linebacker Daryl Smith, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, defensive end Arthur Jones, safety James Ihedgibo and cornerback Corey Graham. Oher will likely not be resigned, and Monroe was not given the franchise tag. Daryl Smith and Jacoby Jones should be retained because the Ravens have needs at both of their positions. Unfortunately for Ravens fans, most of these players will be let go into the market.
Hopefully, Ozzie Newsome will get a few free agents this offseason. Baltimore has needs at fullback because of Leach's departure, wide receiver, offensive line, and secondary. The most important are probably wide receiver and offensive line. Joe Flacco had a career high in interceptions and the running game was the worst in the NFL despite having star Ray Rice- both partly because the offensive line. Receiver is also a real need because the Ravens have only two proven targets- Pitta and receiver Torrey Smith. Baltimore should aim for a few players to help those needs. Current Raven Eugene Monroe and Chief Brandon Albert should be signed to fill one of the offensive tackle spots, and Alex Mack is a great free agent center. Wide receivers are also a big need and a few bargains are Eagles receiver Jason Avant, Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts, and Chiefs Do-It-All man Dexter McCluster, one of my favorite players in the league.
The Ravens also have multiple draft picks to fill their needs. General Manager Ozzie Newsome has a top 20 pick to use for the first round, and there are a few players that could fall into their hands. Receivers Marqise Lee and Mike Evans would be great fits and tackles Taylor Lewin and Zack Martin are also solid picks. If C.J. Mosley is still available, the former Alabama inside linebacker would be the perfect fit in the defense. In the last 6 rounds, the Ravens should choose dynamic playmakers, such as Kent State RB Dri Archer, but the emphasis should be toward offensive line and receiver help.
Baltimore did not make the playoffs last year, but hopefully they will make a few signings that will bring them back into the mix. Their moves in the last two months have certainly helped that goal.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
The first ever fantasy-style draft was held to determine the rosters of the two teams playing in this year's NFL Pro Bowl game. NFL legends Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders served as the captains and took turns choosing players for each squad.
Take a look at the two teams below and let us know which team you think has the best chance of winning on Sunday.
|TEAM RICE||TEAM SANDERS|
QB Drew Brees, Saints
QB Philip Rivers, Chargers
QB Alex Smith, Chiefs
WR Josh Gordon, Browns
WR Alshon Jeffery, Bears
WR Brandon Marshall, Bears
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
TE Jimmy Graham, Saints
TE Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles
RB DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
RB Matt Forte, Bears
FB Mike Tolbert, Panthers
T Joe Thomas, Browns
T Tyron Smith, Cowboys
T Jordan Gross, Panthers
G Jahri Evans, Saints
G Ben Grubbs, Saints
G Evan Mathis, Eagles
C Ryan Kalil, Panthers
C Nick Mangold, Jets
DE Robert Quinn, Rams
DE Cameron Jordan, Saints
DE Cameron Wake, Dolphins
DT Jason Hatcher, Cowboys
DT Marcell Dareus, Bills
DT Kyle Williams, Bills
OLB Justin Houston, Chiefs
OLB Robert Mathis, Colts
OLB John Abraham, Cardinals
ILB Vontaze Burfict, Bengals
ILB Derrick Johnson, Chiefs
CB Joe Haden, Browns
CB Brandon Flowers, Chiefs
CB Antonio Cromartie, Jets
CB Alterraun Verner, Titans
S Eric Reid, 49ers
S Jairus Byrd, Bills
S Antrel Rolle, Giants
ST Justin Bethel, Cardinals
PR Dexter McCluster, Chiefs
K Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
P Johnny Hekker, Rams
LS Matt Overton, Colts
QB Andrew Luck, Colts
QB Cam Newton, Panthers
QB Nick Foles, Eagles
WR A.J. Green, Bengals
WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys
WR Antonio Brown, Steelers
WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles
TE Jason Witten, Cowboys
RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
RB Eddie Lacy, Packers
FB Marcel Reece, Raiders
T Trent Williams, Redskins
T Duane Brown, Texans
T Branden Albert, Chiefs
G Marshal Yanda, Ravens
G Logan Mankins, Patriots
G Kyle Long, Bears
C Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
C Alex Mack, Browns
DE J.J. Watt, Texans
DE Greg Hardy, Panthers
DE Mario Williams, Bills
DT Ndamukong Suh, Lions
DT Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
DT Dontari Poe, Chiefs
OLB Brian Orakpo, Redskins
OLB Tamba Hali, Chiefs
OLB Terrell Suggs, Ravens
ILB Luke Kuechly, Panthers
ILB Paul Posluszny, Jaguars
CB Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
CB Darrelle Revis, Buccaneers
CB Brent Grimes, Dolphins
CB Tim Jennings, Bears
S Eric Berry, Chiefs
S Eric Weddle, Chiefs
S T.J. Ward, Browns
ST Matthew Slater, Patriots
PR Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
K Justin Tucker, Ravens
P Brandon Fields, Dolphins
LS J.J. Jansen, Panthers
Don’t miss the NFL Pro Bowl this Sunday at 7:30PM ET on NBC.
We thought it might be fun to get the NFL RUSH community opinion on the best player for each of the 32 teams. We randomly selected the Baltimore Ravens to be the second team for this poll.
Based on their skills and importance to the team we narrowed down their roster to the 5 finalists listed in alphabetical order below.
Elvis Dumervil (DE)
Joe Flacco (QB)
Haloti Ngata (DT)
Ray Rice (RB)
Terrell Suggs (LB)
Our Pick: Haloti Ngata
Since entering the league eight years ago, DT Haloti Ngata has anchored the Ravens stellar defensive squads. He is literally an unstoppable disruptive force in the middle of the line. He’s just a beast and on this Ravens squad, he’s the best.
I think the Ravens will end up winning the Super Bowl. They have amazing coaching and defense. They have a good offense but they aren't always consistent on that side of the ball.
On defense they have tremendous players such as Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Courtney Upshaw, and Ed Reed. Courtney Upshaw is a rookie and had a big game versus the Packers by tipping two of Aaron Rogers' passes and one ending up as an interception by Terrell Suggs off the tip. Ray Lewis has also been amazing during the playoffs. He has been motivating the defense to do well and it seems to be working. Same with Terrell Suggs -- these two linebackers are scary to go head up with. They are both play smart and know what to do when they touch the field.
With their amazing defense I think they will stop Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick's running game. I also think they could stop the passing game especially with Ed Reed over top helping out.
In conclusion, I can't wait to see a good Super Bowl. These are two good teams that have really good players. I think it will be a close game at the end, but I hope the Ravens end up winning.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
The Ravens travel to Denver to meet the Broncos on Saturday at 4:30 ET on CBS. Who will win? You can decide with the help of some keys to success for both squads.
Why the Ravens will win:
1. Ray Lewis: He is maybe the best linebacker to ever play in the NFL. In his last season ever, he will be more motivated than ever and that is a scary thought.
2. Joe Flacco: With this season, Joe Flacco is the only QB in NFL history to reach the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. He has also won at least one playoff game in every season of his career.
3. Experience: Add in Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Anquan Boldin, Haloti Ngata, and Ray Rice to Ray Lewis and that's a lot of veteran wisdom.
Why the Broncos will win:
1. Peyton Manning: There might not be a QB in the NFL that can match what Peyton bring to the game. He's a strong candidate for this year's MVP.
2. Defense: The best defense on the field will be the Broncos. They allowed the second fewest total yards and fourth fewest points during the regular season. LB Von Miller had 18.5 sacks, third-most in the NFL.
3. WR Duo: Manning had a pair of 1,000+ yard receivers in Demaryius Thmoas (1,434) and Eric Decker (1,064). Each also had double digit TD catches with Thomas grabbing 10 and Decker pulling in 13 on the year.
Why do you think the Ravens or Broncos will win?
QB Tom Brady has won three Super Bowls, the last one coming in 2005. But that was a long time ago and this weekend will be all about the Ravens. The Ravens RB Ray Rice was the number 2 rusher in the league during the regular season and the Patriots defense was the second worst defense in the NFL and will struggle to get stops. So you know the Ravens will put points on the board. The real battle will take place between Brady and the Ravens defense. The Ravens have the players to match up with the biggest weapons, WR Wes Welker and TE Rob Gronkowski. Ravens are stacked with LB Ray Lewis, Safety Ed Reed, LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata... the list goes on and on. This isn't the Broncos, this is an elite squad hungry for a win and that is why Brady is in trouble.
Hey Patriots! You're on Upset Alert!
Sunday will see a match up of two of top defenses in the NFL. The Texans and Ravens ranked number 2 and 3 in the league respectively. If the old saying, "defense wins championships," holds true, these two teams are well equipped for a run at the Super Bowl, but only one can survive this week.
The Ravens defense is a story we've heard before. It's anchored by veteran stars Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed with lots of others contributing. They posted 48 sacks during the season, good for 3rd most in the NFL.
The Texans have a younger squad led by LB Brian Cushing, CB Jonathan Joseph and LB DeMeco Ryans with many other players joining in. This defense was tested in their first playoff game ever last week and came up big. Rookie DE J.J. Watt made the play of the day grabbing an interception at the line and returning it for a TD.
Which D will be toughest on Sunday: Ravens or Texans?
We have been declared war upon. We are the enemy of the state. [Heinz Field] is my Madison Square Garden. We're going on the road in probably the toughest stadium to play in the NFL. This is football. I'm guaranteeing the NFL, the world will stop for this game, and everybody wants to see it.
- Terrell Suggs, talks up the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.