Ravens: 4 best-kept secrets on Baltimore’s current roster

Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports /
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2. L.J. Fort, LB, Baltimore Ravens

L.J. Fort has had quite an interesting NFL journey. An undrafted free agent back in 2014, Fort bounced around between a number of different teams with stints in Cleveland, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, before landing with the Ravens in 2019.

Originally nothing more than a midseason pickup, Fort went on to start eight of 12 games for the Ravens in 2019 helping solidifying what was a struggling linebacker corps.

He returned in 2020, once again playing a vital role on both special teams and defense. In total, he played in 14 games, making eight starts, and finishing with a stellar Pro Football Focus grade of 71.5 which ranked as the ninth-best player at his position.

Fort was superb in 2020 and one of the best run-stoppers in football as he earned a PFF run-defense grade of 78.6 (top-five in the NFL).

He had a missed tackle percentage of just 8.6 percent, whereas fellow linebackers Patrick Queen and Chris Board had percentages of 16.5 percent and 22.5 percent respectively.

That’s why it was a bit surprising that the Ravens opted not to pick up his option in the offseason. Fortunately, he returned on a cheap one-year deal in April and should play a key role once again in 2021.

He’ll have to fend off Board and 2020 third-round pick Malik Harrison for playing time, but Fort remains one of the best run-stoppers on the roster and is a valuable special-teamer as well.

L.J. Fort is a very good player, even if few people outside of Baltimore are aware of who he is.