2. Za’Darius Smith
Za’Darius Smith had 5.5 sacks in his rookie season. He showed the Ravens that he is an up and coming pass rusher. Coming into the 2015 season, we knew that Smith was an unpolished player. The young edge defender seemed to have the light go on towards the end of the season. 3.5 of his sacks came in the last three games of the year. The other two sacks came against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good team to step up against.
Smith is capable of growing into a feared defender. He is a long and explosive athlete who can blaze past offensive tackles with his speed. Smith needs to harness his explosive ability and combine it with the fundamentals of outside linebacker play.
Going into a season where the health of Terrell Suggs is in question, you have to figure Smith will have his chances to shine. The Ravens want to find out if he is the next great outside linebacker, or just a flash in the pan. I would surely keep an eye on Smith.
Next: Timmy Jernigan