Ravens: Five Key Players For Success In 2015

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Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) waves his arms at the crowd during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jimmy Smith, CB

Jimmy Smith was on pace for a Pro Bowl year in 2014 before he sprained his foot in week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Smith was placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve list, ending his season.

This is a pass-first league and the Ravens play in a division with two talented quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton.

Without Smith and a beaten up Lardarius Webb the Ravens’ secondary struggled, especially in the play-offs, where they gave up over 700 passing yards in two games. The Ravens need Smith to find the form he showed in 2013, when he racked up 49 tackles, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and 15 pass deflections.

Smith is a big, fast corner who is great in man coverage. If he can step up and produce, it will open up opportunities for pass rushers Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs and company to get to the quarterback. A lot lies on Smith’s shoulders in 2015 and I think the addition of Kyle Arrington will push him to be at his best and lead our secondary.

Next: Steve Smith Sr.

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