The Ravens are a veteran group led by some of the NFL’s more experienced players and coaches.
But the team has been bolstered by the play of its rookie class. Wide receiver Torrey Smith, a second-round pick, leads the offense in receiving touchdowns with five and ranks second in receiving yards with 645. Defensive end Pernell McPhee, a fifth-round choice, ranks second on the defense in sacks with six. And cornerback Jimmy Smith, a first-round selection, has caught two interceptions in his last three contests.
Those contributions have been deeply valued by the Ravens, according to coach John Harbaugh.
“Every guy is different,” he said during his weekly news conference Monday. “Jimmy Smith is the guy you mention. He’s starting to get some interceptions, obviously. He’s tackling really well. But we’ve got a lot of young players. [Cornerback] Cary Williams is a young player, not a rookie. [Cornerback] Lardarius Webb is a young player. If you’re going to be successful, for sure, in football, the way it’s set up and even more so now with the new salary cap structure, you’ve got to have contributions from young players and really from rookies, also.”