Ravens 2014 player rankings: No. 1

ESPN.com polled 18 Baltimore media members for their top 20 players on the 2014 Baltimore Ravens roster. The rankings culminate with the top-ranked player today.

Let's get a drum roll ...


Position: Quarterback

Total points: 307. First-place votes: Four.

Highest ranking: No. 1. Lowest ranking: No. 9.

What you need to know: Flacco is coming off the worst season of his career. Despite throwing for 3,912 (the highest in his NFL career), he was intercepted 22 times, which is 10 more than in any of his previous five seasons. Part of the problem was a lack of pass protection and limited weapons. Flacco should be helped this season by an improved offensive line, a healthy Dennis Pitta and the addition of Steve Smith. Many forget that Flacco is only 17 months removed from being the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.

Where Joe Flacco should be ranked: Flacco came in at No. 4 on my rankings, behind Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda and Haloti Ngata. My reasoning is that you can make an argument that Suggs, Yanda and Ngata could be the best at their positions when healthy. If these rankings were based on "most important" instead of "best overall," Flacco would undoubtedly be at the top of my list. As far as the voters go, Flacco and Yanda were the only players who received over more than points in this poll. Yanda had two more first-place votes, but Flacco wasn't ranked outside the top 10 by anyone. Yanda had a few votes outside the top 10, which caused him to lose to Flacco by seven points.

File this away: Flacco’s 62 regular season victories are the most by a starting NFL quarterback in the first six seasons of a career.

What the Ravens are saying about Joe Flacco: “I had no idea how good of an athlete he is. He's a very good athlete. The things we like to do -- move around, the zone pass schemes we like to run -- fit a lot of his strengths, and we need to continue to get better at them." -- offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak

Here is the panel of voters (and thanks to everyone who participated): 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:

No. 1: Joe Flacco

No. 2: Marshal Yanda

No. 3: Terrell Suggs

No. 4: Haloti Ngata

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