In the past couple weeks, I saw something quite interesting while watching “Best in the Biz” on NFL Network— a series of segments where analysts compile a list of the top 5 best players in the league in a certain positions.
I would like to share three particular segments that focused on the best current linebacker, free safety, and defensive tackle in the league. You can probably tell where I’m going with this.
So I’ll just post the clips of the show here and let you see for yourself.
NFL Network’s Best Middle Linebacker in the Biz: RAY LEWIS
NFL Network’s Best Free Safety in the Biz: ED REED
NFL Network’s Best Defensive Tackle in the Biz: HALOTI NGATA
Did anyone else get a warm feeling inside after watching these clips?
Thanks goes out to the NFL Network for giving credit to where it’s due. But biggest thanks goes out to Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata for making the Baltimore Ravens one of the top defensive units for the past decade.
Ray Lewis was crowned No. 1 for obvious reasons. As Solomon Wilcots himself said, Ray Lewis is the “poster boy for middle linebackers… the Godfather.” There’s no question that this 11x Pro Bowler with 1,700+ career tackles and 36 career sacks should be number one— it’s nearly given.
Ed Reed was another easy decision to go with. Nicknamed “the ghost” by the analysts, Reed made a name for himself with 6 Pro Bowls, 46 career interceptions, and a spot in the record books for the longest interception return for a touchdown. Woodson argued that Reed’s ability to deceive quarterbacks and to make them pay is what sets himself apart from all other safeties. What Reed does to most quarterbacks is comparable to what Peyton Manning does to most defenses.
Now the most surprising to me: Haloti Ngata. With only 1 Pro Bowl appearance and just 4 years of NFL experience, Ngata has quickly become one of the most recognized and respected defensive tackles in the league. What distinguishes Ngata from other tackles is his versatility. Even Jeff Saturday admitted how Ngata could probably “play free safety.” I mean come on, how many defensive tackles do you know has 3 career interceptions? I think this young 340 lb. beast has many more years staying atop this list.
Formula for Best Defensive Unit
Having the best defensive lineman, the best linebacker, and the best safety equates to having the best defensively balanced unit. Ngata can keep the D-line in order while Lewis leads the linebackers, and Reed in the backfield will keep his defensive backs in check.
With 3 of the best defensive players in the league on the Ravens, who or what is to stop Baltimore now?