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.