ESPN.com polled 21 Baltimore media members for their top 20 players on the 2015 Baltimore Ravens roster. The countdown will run through the end of the month, just before the start of training camp.
Let's continue to wind down the countdown ...
No. 3: Jimmy Smith
Total points: 338. First-place votes: None.
Highest ranking: No. 2. Lowest ranking: No. 8.
2015 salary-cap figure ranking: 11th ($3.6 million)
2014 ranking: No. 5
Biggest question: Can Smith stay healthy?
Storyline: It took a few years but Smith developed into the top-notch cornerback that the Ravens envisioned when they drafted him in the first round in 2011. He has the size to press receivers at the line and the speed to run with them. Smith has negated some of the best receivers in the NFL, including A.J. Green and Antonio Brown. His streak of not allowing a touchdown is at 11 games. The Ravens rewarded him with a four-year, $47 million extension this offseason. Smith's biggest challenge is staying on the field. Injuries have sidelined him for 17 games in four seasons. He's only played more than 12 games in a season once.
Where Smith should be ranked: This is exactly right for Smith. He continues to get better every year and should be in the Pro Bowl conversation in 2015. How the Ravens' secondary struggled after the loss of Smith to a season-ending foot injury underscored his importance. He is clearly the top player on the Ravens' defense. But Smith hasn't done enough to warrant being placed over quarterback Joe Flacco and guard Marshal Yanda.
File this away: With Smith in 2014, the Ravens gave up seven touchdown passes (tied for fewest in the NFL). Without Smith, the Ravens allowed 15 touchdown passes (tied for 13th-most in the league).
What the Ravens are saying about Smith: "I'm a believer in Jimmy Smith. I believe Jimmy Smith is going to make history as a cornerback. I believed that from the day he got here. I’ve watched him progress. He's one of the most coachable, teachable, hard-working, smart, talented players you're going to find. And you're seeing the fruits of that labor." -- 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), Qadry Ismail (WBAL Radio), Luke Jones (WNST Radio), Rob Long (105.7 The Fan), Jon Meoli (Baltimore Sun), Keith Mills (WBAL Radio), Joe Platania (the Press Box), Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV), Mark Viviano (WJZ-TV), Aaron Wilson (Baltimore Sun), Jeff Zrebiec (Baltimore Sun) and Jamison Hensley (ESPN.com).
Recapping the 2015 Ravens' top 20 player rankings:
No. 4: C.J. Mosley
No. 5: Terrell Suggs
No. 6: Elvis Dumervil
No. 7: Steve Smith
No. 8: Justin Tucker
No. 9: Justin Forsett
No. 10: Kelechi Osemele
No. 11: Daryl Smith
No. 12: Brandon Williams
No. 13: Lardarius Webb
No. 14: Rick Wagner
No. 15: Timmy Jernigan
No. 16: Courtney Uphsaw
No. 17: Eugene Monroe
No. 18: Sam Koch
No. 19: Dennis Pitta
No. 20: Breshad Perriman