Baltimore Ravens: Midseason Grades for Every Player

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Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Smith – A

Losing Jimmy Smith hurts, there is no doubt about it. He has been without question the Ravens’ best defensive back, showing excellent man coverage ability. Smith was playing his best football the past couple of weeks, as the Ravens’ secondary had improved significantly playing a more aggressive scheme. When he comes back from his injury, hopefully the Ravens continue to play more aggressively.

Lardarius Webb – C+

Injuries have played a big role in Lardarius Webb’s struggles, but unfortunately, injuries are becoming a fact of life for him. Webb is just 182 pounds, yet he throws his body around like a 250-pound linebacker, so that Webb is constantly injured is not a surprise.

Webb is also being used poorly, as he has always been better playing more aggressive man coverage than zone. Yet, Webb has played far off the ball more often than not this year, predictably struggling. He is still physical, and his coverage ability has improved almost every week, but the Ravens won’t get their investment back on Webb unless they put him in a position to succeed.

Chykie Brown – D

Chykie Brown has not developed at all since his first significant playing time in 2012. His ball skills render him completely unplayable, yet the Ravens tried to play him as their nickel corner anyway at times this season. It didn’t work, and Brown has been a healthy scratch the past two weeks.

Asa Jackson – B-

Asa Jackson was pretty much what the Ravens expected, a decent coverage cornerback who was a liability in terms of tackling and run support.

Jackson has always shown the ability to play man coverage, but struggled when the Ravens ran zone. He is quick and fast, though, so he should be a contributor when he returns from injury.

Dominique Franks – B

There is nothing special about Dominique Franks, but he probably should have been the Ravens’ nickel corner from the beginning of the season. The secondary improved significantly when Franks was re-signed, and that’s not a coincidence. He can be picked on by good receivers, but all-in-all Franks is a competent cornerback whose biggest weakness is his lack of ball skills with the ball in the air.