Ravens defense looks elite as Kyle Hamilton, Roquan Smith named Top 2 safety, LB

Hamilton and Smith are at the top of their game.
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens are lucky to have some of the best individual players in the league. Pro Football Focus seems to love putting Baltimore in second place in their positional rankings, as nearly a half-dozen Ravens players can call themselves silver medalists in these rankings.

Not only was Lamar Jackson ranked as the second-best quarterback in the NFL behind Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, but newcomer running back Derrick Henry was also slotted in as the second-best running back behind San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey. Even tight end Mark Andrews pulled up in third place in the tight end rankings, following George Kittle and Travis Kelce.

Baltimore's defense was also held in fairly high regard here, as both safety Kyle Hamilton and linebacker Roquan Smith were hailed as the best at their respective positions in the AFC. Both of them, unfortunately, came in second when looking at the entire league in the eyes of PFF.

Hamilton was named the No. 2 safety in football behind Tampa Bay's Antoine Winfield Jr. after his All-Pro season. Smith, meanwhile, was ranked the No. 2 linebacker in the game behind another 49ers player in Fred Warner. Still, it's nice to see Baltimore's young stars regarded so highly.

Ravens stars Kyle Hamilton, Roquan Smith ranked as second best safety, linebacker in NFL

Hamilton, who was regarded by many as the best safety prospect in years following an exceptional college career at Notre Dame, did just about everything for the Ravens last year. Baltimore's No. 14 ended the season with 13 pass breakups, four interceptions, three sacks, and a forced fumble.

The Ravens may have the best safety duo in the league between Hamilton and Marcus Williams. Hamilton's play will not only confirm his status as an elite defensive back, but it will likely set him up for a contract that resets the market for safeties.

Smith polished off his second consecutive season making First-Team All-Pro. With 158 tackles to his name (somehow the lowest in the last three seasons) despite missing a game, Smith has become the game's premier open-field playmaker at his position. The difference between him and Warner has quickly become razor-thin.

With Patrick Queen in Pittsburgh and second-year neophyte Trenton Simpson poised to take over, the Ravens will be counting on Smith to erase many of the defense's mistakes. If he helps this defense once again rank near the top of the league without Mike Macdonald, Smith could overtake Warner in these rankings.