Ravens top defensive performers in 2022, according to PFF

Though the Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 campaign was cut short after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card round, the team’s future is bright. Improvement will be necessary for the team to compete for a Super Bowl next season, but given the exceptional play of their bend-don’t-break defensive unit in 2022, they seem primed for something special.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is their best threat on offense, but his outstanding abilities wouldn’t count for much if the Ravens’ defense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. These top-10 defensive performers led the way for the team’s success on that end, according to Pro Football Focus.

10. ILB Roquan Smith

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PFF Grade: 71.4

Smith was by far the best addition to the Ravens’ defense this season, and is sure to be a fixture in Baltimore for years to come.

9. S Marcus Williams

(AP Photo/John Munson)

PFF Grade: 73.9

Williams’ steady presence in the Ravens’ secondary helped keep opposing quarterbacks at bay all season, even with missed time due to injuries.

8. DL Rayshad Nichols

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PFF Grade: 75.1

Though he only saw action in one game for Baltimore this season, the future seems bright for Nichols given PFF’s evaluation of his play.

7. OLB Steven Means

(AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

PFF Grade: 75.7

Though his season was cut short due to injury, means made a big impression on PFF in his extremely limited action.

6. CB Marlon Humphrey

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PFF Grade: 76.8

Humphrey remains one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, and should be a key part of Baltimore’s defense for years to come.

5. DL Calais Campbell

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PFF Grade: 76.9

The Ravens’ pass rush wouldn’t have been as effective as they were in 2022 without the help of Campbell on the defensive line.

4. OLB Justin Houston

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 77.1

Houston has been a sack-master for more than a decade, and continued his run of excellence in 2022 as one of Baltimore’s most consistent pass rushers.

3. OLB David Ojabo

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

PFF Grade: 80.3

The Ravens made a huge gamble when they drafted Ojabo, but the risk could pay off in a big way, especially after the flashes he showed during his limited action.

2. DL Michael Pierce

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PFF Grade: 86.9

Pierce’s season was cut short very early, but he made a massive impact when he was on the field.

1. S Kyle Hamilton

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PFF Grade: 87.6

Hamilton cemented himself as one of the best players in his draft class, landing as the Ravens’ best defensive player by PFF’s rankings.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire