Fans, media, and the Baltimore Ravens themselves are expecting to see big things from Roquan Smith in 2023. He had arguably the best nine-game span of his carer the second the Ravens traded for him. Considering that it was just his first year with the team, it could only improve.
Expectations for Roquan Smith with Baltimore Ravens
When you look at what Roquan Smith had done through age 25, there are few players on his level. The only names with the same production numbers are Ray Lewis, Luke Kuechly, Patrick Willis, and Junior Seau. Those are some great names to be linked to through age 25.
So, the question is, what did those names do at age 26, and is there a trend to see for Roquan Smith?
All these players were obviously successful, but age 26 stood out. Ray Lewis had 162 tackles and was third in DPOY voting. He made first-team All-Pro. Patrick Willis finished fifth in DPOY voting but also was an All-Pro. For Junior Seau, this was a slightly down year for him. That only amounted to 130 tackles, but he was second-team All-Pro, after being first-team in the three years before that.
Lastly, Luke Kuechly was once again a first-team All-Pro. Patrick Willis is the only player who did not have 120 tackles, and that is because he missed three games. Still, all of these players had huge seasons when they were 26 years old and kept the same trajectory going.
There is no reason to believe that Roquan Smith will not continue to stay on this list, and there is a good chance that he will join them on the All-Pro list next season. At the rate he is playing and the names compared to him, he is almost expected to make the All-Pro next year. Anything less would be a disappointment.
Another interesting note is that Seau played until he was 40, and Lewis retired on top at age 37. Then, there is Kuechly, who retired at 28, and Willis, who left at 29. Both were still at the peak of their games, so there is no reason to think that Smith will struggle at any point during his contract with the Ravens.
However, with the two more recent players leaving the game early with their health, the contract talks around Smith next time around may become interesting.