Ravens: DeShon Elliott could be on the verge of a big payday

Ravens, DeShon Elliott (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Ravens, DeShon Elliott (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

As the Baltimore Ravens finalize some important contracts this offseason (ahem, Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews), there’s one currently undervalued player on the roster who could also be getting his due.

Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports revealed their top underrated AFC players on the verge of big paydays, and safety DeShon Elliott made the list for the Ravens.

He’s a relatively under-the-radar lode of talent who replaced starter Earl Thomas in the secondary last year. The 2018 sixth-round pick missed his entire rookie season due to a broken arm and played just six games the following year following a knee injury.

Elliott seemed to be on track for an underperforming, injury-riddled career. In 2020, though, he played all 16 games and recorded 80 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Elliott has shown he can step up into the starting lineup, stay healthy, and deliver crucial hits. Ravens fans should remember a particular hit stick tackle on Derrick Henry in Week 11.

Taking down the best running back in the league? That’s not usually something you see from an up-and-coming safety. But Elliott played his position so well you wouldn’t think it was his first year starting.

Strong on run support and rarely responsible for any lapses in coverage, Elliott fit into the Ravens’ defensive backfield like a spot on a leopard and impressed. Big-time.

Ravens’ safety DeShon Elliott could rake in the big bucks next year.

With a full year of starting experience, Elliott’s confidence couldn’t be higher going into 2021. The only thing holding him back from joining the ranks of Minkah Fitzpatrick or Tyrann Mathieu in the AFC may be his lack of elite ball skills.

At this stage in his career, Elliott hasn’t developed the tactical awareness to become the brilliant ball-hawking safety Thomas was. Given his first pro season successes, odds are that he learns pretty quickly.

Elliott’s entering the final season of his rookie contract, and if he plays his cards right, he could set himself up for a lucrative payday. Who knows, he could even jump from first-year starter to Pro Bowler. He’s got that rare ability to exceed expectations.

No one thought he would play as well as he did when thrust into action for a departed Thomas in 2020. No one thought he would be anything more than a rotational player.

No one thought he would be the premium commodity he is now, whose stock on a defensive back-bare market could exponentially increase by the season’s end.

The Ravens have already made future investments in their secondary by signing long-term deals with Chuck Clark, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Tavon Young.

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Assuming DeShon Elliott continues his dominant performance this year, he should be next.