Ravens 2014 player rankings: No. 4

ESPN.com polled 18 Baltimore media members for their top 20 players on the 2014 Baltimore Ravens roster. The countdown will run through the end of this week, just before the start of training camp.

Let's continue the countdown ...


Position: Defensive tackle

Total points: 253. First-place votes: None.

Highest ranking: No. 2. Lowest ranking: No. 20.

What you need to know: Ngata made his fifth straight Pro Bowl after leading the Ravens' defensive line with 52 tackles. Over the past three seasons, Ngata is the only defensive tackle who has posted at least 160 tackles, 10 sacks and five passes defensed. At the age of 30, Ngata is still a difference-maker up front, but he hasn't been as dominant as in recent seasons. It's the first time in his career that he recorded consecutive seasons with under 60 tackles. His 1.5 sacks last season were his fewest since 2009.

Where Ngata should be ranked: I had Ngata slightly higher at No. 3. He could have a good rebound season because he's healthy and he's back playing defensive tackle (after a year of playing nose tackle). There's pressure on Ngata to live up to his salary -- he's the team's highest-paid player at $8.5 million -- and here's banking that he'll do it.

File this away: Dating back to 2006, Ngata's first season in the NFL, the Ravens have allowed the league's fewest rushing touchdown (63) and the third-fewest rushing yards per game (93.1).

What the Ravens are saying about Haloti Ngata: “He told me that he's healthier than he has ever been in the offseason. So, he’s probably able to train better than he has in a few years. The expectations are very high for Haloti." -- coach John Harbaugh

Here is the panel of voters: Morgan Adsit (WBFF-TV), Clifton Brown (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Jerry Coleman (105.7 The Fan), Bruce Cunnningham (WBFF-TV), Steve Davis (105.7 The Fan), John Eisenberg (Baltimore Ravens website), Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV), David Ginsburg (Associated Press), Brent Harris (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Brett Hollander (WBAL Radio), Luke Jones (WNST Radio), Joe Platania (the Press Box), Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV), Mark Viviano (WJZ-TV), Aaron Wilson (Baltimore Sun), Matt Zenitz (Carroll County Times), Jeff Zrebiec (Baltimore Sun) and Jamison Hensley (ESPN.com).

Recapping the Ravens' countdown so far:

No. 5: Jimmy Smith

No. 6: Elvis Dumervil

No. 7: Torrey Smith

No. 8: Lardarius Webb

No. 9: Dennis Pitta

No. 10: Justin Tucker

No. 11: Daryl Smith

No. 12: Steve Smith

No. 13: Ray Rice

No. 14: Eugene Monroe

No. 15: Jacoby Jones

No. 16: Kelechi Osemele

No. 17: Matt Elam

No. 18: Marlon Brown

No. 19: Owen Daniels

No. 20: C.J. Mosley